Air Mail Special Delivery and Liberty Valance

Air Mail Special Delivery and Liberty Valance is today’s blog post as we remember Gene Pitney on what would have been his 76th birthday, born February 17, 1940.

Air Mail Special Delivery and Liberty Valance

Today we are looking at the song that immediately comes to mind with him singing “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and includes finding a song – “Air Mail Special Delivery” – that I was not familiar with but fun to come across given the theme of   I would be remiss if I did not include a mention of these two songs of his: “Only Love Can Break a Heart” (written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David) his biggest hit in the U.S. and “Town Without Pity” (his first hit) which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song; he was the first pop singer to perform at the Oscars in 1962.  If you are thinking you know that song, think Look Who’s Talking with Kirstie Alley performing a “rather vampy dance to it (playing on the radio) while getting the kid his pudding.”

“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”

For me hearing Gene Pitney sing “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” brings to mind the 1962 Western starring James Stewart, John Wayne, Lee Marvin and includes Vera Miles, Edmond O’Brien, Andy Devine, Woody Strode, John Carradine, Lee Van Cleef, and Strother Martin.

One of my favorite scenes is of a speech in that movie where John Carradine announces “he came with a carefully prepared speech but this is no time for oratory”,  crumbles the paper into a ball and tosses it onto the floor and continues – I’ve included the scene here to enjoy.   Thinking of that scene has me smiling as I DID have a carefully prepared blog topic planned for today but when I saw it is Gene Pitney’s birthday decided to go with Air Mail Special Delivery and Liberty Valance instead and found myself virtually crumbling what I already had planned into a ball and tossing!

From the back of Gene Pitney’s album THE COLLECTION 1959-1962  – Next stop was a US Number 4 with Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence’. It was scheduled for inclusion in the movie of that name starring John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart but Gene could not finish recording the song in time.” 

However, I prefer the explanation in Wikipedia: “Pitney is also remembered for the Burt Bacharach–Hal David song “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”, which peaked at No. 4 in 1962. Though it shares a title with a 1962 John Ford western with the same title, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, starring John Wayne, the song was not used in the film because of a publishing dispute between Famous Music and Paramount Pictures.”

Air Mail Special Delivery”

While I was not familiar with the song “Airmail Special Delivery” by Gene Pitney I was delighted to find it given our theme here at of encouraging letter writing – balancing new technology communication with old-style corresponding.

There we have it.  Thank you for joining me today for Air Mail Special Delivery and Liberty Valance.  The next time you are staring at a blank screen you can smile recalling that scene from “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” where he claims to have already had a speech and use that for the opener…

I’m going to close with this quote from the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” 1962:

Ransom Stoddard:  “You’re not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?”

Maxwell Scott:  “No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

Anchors Aweigh,  


Attribution & Thank you to the following who are referenced today — 

Image above upper left – Publicity photo of singer Gene Pitney.  By William Morris Agency (management) (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wikipedia:  Excerpt Gene Pitney (17 February 1940 – 5 April 2006)

Gene Pitney — Only Love Can Break a Heart posted by Jack Gauntt

Songfacts “Town Without Pity” by Gene Pitney  and  “Only Love Can Break A Heart” by Gene Pitney

Wikipedia:  Excerpt Gene Pitney THE COLLECTION 1959-1962

Wikipedia:  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

YouTube Video The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance speech posted by CatherineVid

YouTube Video  (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance by Gene Pitney posted by Daily Doo Wop

You Tube Video Gene Pitney – Air Mail Special Delivery posted by Gene Pitney Exclusive Videos

IMDB quote The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 1962



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