(From Canberra Times)
J UST BEFORE Gene Pitney's visit to Canberra, I'd described him as a ''rock pioneer''. A younger colleague picked me up on this, saying Pitney was hardly a rocker and he (the younger colleague) preferred the description, ''balladeer''. At 64, I don't think Pitney would mind either way.
When I thought about it later, I realised that back in the days when Pitney was a hit-parade regular, almost every song on the charts came under the broad banner of rock'n'roll, even country and folk music (Johnny Cash, and Peter, Paul and Mary, for instance).
Indeed, just about everything we listened to from 1957 to 1967 was labelled rock. …