Burnham-On-Sea author Michael Turner

Burnham-On-Sea author Michael Turner has published a book on the life and times of American singer-songwriter and musician Gene Pitney.

Michael, who has written compiled several books and videos about his travel around the world – has written the first full-length biography of the legendary, international singer-songwriter who had such a distinctive voice.

He says that he set out to write a booklet but when superstar singer and composer Neil Sedaka agreed to write a foreword, the process of compilation assumed ‘greater heights’.

Burnham-On-Sea author Michael Turner

He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “When my other pop hero surprised me by positively responding to my request during the embryonic stage of writing, I had to produce a book that eventually reached 126 pages, bearing 50,000 words of solid, factual text that was worthy of Neil’s support and a quality publication that he would be pleased to read.”

Michael adds: “Neil did in fact read the book and stated ‘Michael did a wonderful job and I was glad that I contributed’.”

Michael says he collected contributions from fans who Gene had invited to his home; his American musical director Gary Rue; Gene’s support act Australian singer Rodney Vincent; and the administrator of Gene’s International Fan Club, David McGrath.

To illustrate the book are 84 photographs, all taken by Michael from 1984, except for six provided by Gary Rue and one of Gene’s sons.

Michael says: “These include Gene with the Rolling Stones, reading a comic to his son Chris Pitney circa 1972 and during a concert rehearsal. Gene admired my photograph collection enough to use two pictures for two of his concert tour programmes.”

“My photographic input transcended the singer on stage: it included candid shots at fan club conventions and, most unexpectantly, a suite of pictures that I took in Gene’s home!”

“Another of the book’s strengths is the inclusion of the most concise, yet comprehensive discography ever assembled. Due to my relationship with Gene, the information-packed and lively text will educate, entertain and inform the uninitiated reader through to the most ardent Pitney fan.”

“The final dimension in learning about Pitney was the collection of emails that Gene sent to me. This accurate, colourful, luxuriously produced book pays a fitting tribute to the great life of this consummate, recording artist and concert performer.”

Michael has built a highly illustrated website comprising extra photographs and videos to supplement the book: www.Gene-Pitney-Biography.co.uk. Copies of the book are available via the website, priced £15 plus postage.

Michael gave a copy to Tony Blackburn since he frequently plays Gene’s songs on Radio 2

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