BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Town Without Pity”


Betcha didn’t think I’d get to this, didja?

Town Without Pity (or, if you prefer, Stadt Ohne Mitleid) was a 1961 movie starring Kirk Douglas, Christine Kaufmann, and E. G. Marshall. The title song, written by Dmitri Tiomkin with lyrics by Ned Washington, was sung by Gene Pitney. It received a Golden Globe for “Best Motion Picture Song” and was nominated for an Oscar for “Best Music, Original Song.” It was released as a single in October 1961, and reached #13 in the US and #10 in Canada. Here’s the original version, which is not part of the contest.

There are a number of covers available on YouTube, and I think I listened to just about all of them. The two I liked best were done by the Stray Cats and Ronnie Montrose, so I didn’t use either of them. These are the “second tier” versions, ones that I liked almost as much.

CONTESTANT #1: Eddi Reader Ms. Reader’s version appeared on her 1996 album Candyfloss and Medicine. No idea how well it did on the chart.

CONTESTANT #2: Sha Na Na featuring Johnny Cantardo A highlight of my week back in the Eighties was staying up to watch Saturday Night Live, SCTV, Sha Na Na, The Hudson Brothers, and Tales of the Unexpected. I don’t think I saw this episode from Season 4, because I would have remembered this.

So, now it’s your turn: which version do you like the best, Eddi Reader’s or Sha Na Na’s? Give both a listen and cast your vote in the comments below. Then, go to these blogs, which might be having Battles of their own.

I’ll announce the winner next Tuesday, March 7, so get your vote to me by then. The lines are now open. Best of luck to Eddi Reader and Sha Na Na!