Another Kind of Chain – Gene Pitney and “Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa”

Don’t panic, I’m not about to highjack that most excellent of features, Jez’s “The Chain”, but I seem to be experiencing blogger’s block, and want to find a way of kick starting things again around here. 

I wrote last time about how I have very nearly completed my third year on the blogosphere. It’s been a joy, and although each year has been totally different for me in terms of what’s going on in the real world, this virtual world has been my anchor, my constant amongst all of life’s ups and downs.

Something that has kept me going more than anything else however, is that I seem to have become part of a little community, which I hadn’t bargained for when I started out in the blogging world. I suspect I would never have found this little community had I not discovered Jez’s place back in the early days, when I pretty much only wrote about the music (with a little anecdote thrown in). One of my early posts featured the three Jimmy Webb songs recorded by Glen Campbell in the late 1960s. One of these  songs was Galveston, and back then I used to perform a quick search before pressing the publish button, to check whether anyone else had written about it recently. Someone had, Jez, and as usual he had included a very funny story.

Many of us around here know that Jez has been a bit poorly of late, but after being absent for a wee while he seems to back firing on all cylinders in terms of his blogging output. I suspect there are a few more chapters to go in terms of what happened, but as ever, he has made what must have been a pretty awful time, very entertaining. Cross fingers he’s well and truly on the road to recovery.

Back in my early days of blogging, I used to find that each post linked to the previous one in terms of the thought process. I sometimes ended up with a string of posts all connected to each other in some way, as is wont to happen when you revisit older songs. Davy Jones followed on from David Bowie, for obvious reasons. Seals and Crofts followed on from the Isley Brothers, for possibly less obvious reasons, but great fun for me to delve into the respective backstory to their songs.

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Linked posts

Suggestions for Jez’s Chain were creative indeed. In fact there used to be a prize for the most tenuous link of the week, which led to a fair bit of “showboating”. Anyway, we all still miss The Chain, but respect the fact it took an awful lot of time and effort to put together, so no pressure to see it make a comeback. No indeed, no pressure at all!

But back to my chain and Galveston – What song links to it in terms of the thought process for me? Well I don’t know about you, but my immediate thoughts turned to Gene Pitney’s 1964 hit, Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa. We’ve moved across the state line from Texas into Oklahoma, but we’re still in the Southern States of the USA, we’re still in the 1960s, and it’s another song about leaving a girl behind. Oh yes, it wasn’t until I checked it out properly, that I came to realise the lyrics were about a chap finding himself just 24 hours from home, but falling head over heels in love with a woman he meets after stopping at a motel for the night. Apparently he “lost control as he held her charms“. This woman must have had stupendous “charms”, as hitherto, Gene had been looking forward to being back in the “arms” (not charms) of his wife.

Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa by Gene Pitney:

As a kid of course, back in the 1960s, I would never in a month of Sundays have worked out the meaning behind those lyrics when I first saw Gene perform the song on British telly. I do remember however that my dad used to do quite a good impression of him, as he did have quite a distinctive style. Oh how our little family of three laughed. But that was over 50 years ago, and for the first time ever, Mr WIAA and I will have none of our parents with us on Christmas Day. Only my mum left now, and she will have lunch in the care home. It really hit me this week, as I finally got round to doing some festive preparation, that our family has shrunk somewhat in the time we’ve been in our current house. The year we moved in, we had to hire a table and chairs to accommodate everyone, but over time we have lost a mum, two dads, an auntie and a best friend. Only ourselves and DD now, until the next generation make an appearance (and not quite ready for that yet, so will be patient).

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I hoped this post would kick start the writing juices again, and it seems it has. A whole week to go until Christmas Day, so time to return with something festive before then I think. And, another full moon post to fit in as well – Will have to exercise the act of brevity when blogging, something I’m not great at delivering on. Good luck with all the last minute shopping, and again, all the best to Jez for his continued recovery.   

Until next time….

Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa Lyrics
(Song by Burt Bacharach and Hal David)

Dearest darling
I had to write to say that I won’t be home any more
For something happened to me
While I was driving home and I’m not the same any more

Oh, I was only twenty four hours from Tulsa
Ah, only one day away from your arms
I saw a welcoming light
And stopped to rest for the night

And that is when I saw her
As I pulled in outside of the small hotel she was there
And so I walked up to her
Asked where I could get something to eat and she showed me where

Oh, I was only twenty four hours from Tulsa
Ah, only one day away from your arms
She took me to the café
I asked her if she would stay
She said, “Okay”

Oh, I was only twenty four hours from Tulsa
Ah, only one day away from your arms
The jukebox started to play
And night time turned into day

As we were dancing closely
All of a sudden I lost control as I held her charms
And I caressed her, kissed her
Told her I’d die before I would let her out of my arms

Oh, I was only twenty four hours from Tulsa
Ah, only one day away from your arms
I hate to do this to you
But I love somebody new
What can I do
When I can never, never, never go home again?

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

12 thoughts on “Another Kind of Chain – Gene Pitney and “Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa””

  1. Hi Alyson,
    I love Gene Pitney’s voice and there are a number of his songs that resonate strongly with me in terms of memories. ’24 Hours from Tulsa’ is one of them, but especially ‘Half-Heaven, Half-Heartache’ as it reminds me of my very first crush.

    We’re out of town until after Christmas, staying at a friend’s winterized cottage up north, so it will be a quiet Christmas (no turkey for me, but at least I’ll be getting some exercise and lots of fresh air.)

    I hope you and your husband and DD have a very happy holiday.

    I’ll be starting a new blog in January, so I’ll get in touch via email when we get back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You what Marie, as I was writing this post I thought of you, as this song is very much from the era you warm to most. Thanks for dropping by.

      Enjoy Christmas in the winterized cottage – Sounds beautiful but also sounds cold! I’m sure you have all the appropriate clothing however. I’ve not been able to get into your blog of late when it appears on a sidebar so yes, let me know when you set up the new one and I’ll look out for it.

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  2. I had no idea that Bacharach and David wrote the song. They certainly were a powerhouse duo. Do you know the band called Love? They played very gritty rock. Their first album came out in, I think, 1965. On it is a Bacharach and David song: My Little Black Book

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems Bacharach and David wrote for just about everyone in the early to late ’60s. The also wrote The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance for Gene. Yes, because of this blog I do know about the band Love and have enjoyed what I’ve heard from them. Didn’t know that even they had been “Bacharach and David-ed”!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Argh… Just to be clear, we are definitely not stealing Jez’s Chain idea – Just easy to link one post to the next in terms of the thought process. Having said that, yes, another American place name song, so good call. Loops us back to Glen Campbell again though so think I’ll veer towards another artist when I eventually get on to the next one of these. I have too many series on the go at the moment though so need to return to some of the ones on hiatus.

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        1. Not stealing The Chain idea honest (don’t like the sound of that can of worms you mention) – Just wanted to pay tribute to the man who has it seems, from his last post, been a lot more poorly than we probably thought. Thankfully on the mend again now though. Yes can see how you would think of Leaving On A Jet Plane – Song 1 in my Teach Yourself Guitar manual (didn’t work).

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  3. Super tribute to Jez and his Chain in here – and I love that we all have these different trains of thought when it comes to music. it’s fascinating. I remember the first time I twigged what the lyrics to Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa and felt quite disappointed at his weakness! Ha, and he thinks it’s love?! There should definitely be a follow-up to this in which he finds himself unceremoniously dumped by the new lady, who is now pregnant with his child and after his money, leaving him wishing he’d never stopped at that stupid motel and could go back to his wife, only to find she’s now happily ensconced with a used car salesman from Nantucket whom she’d been seeing all along…

    You’re so right about the blogging community. It wouldn’t be the same at all without it and I feel extremely fortunate to have stumbled into this little corner of the internet, without actually being sure how it ever happened! So glad to have ‘met’ you too, Alyson, and shared in some of the different life experiences this year has brought us, as future ones will no doubt do so too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest, it wasn’t until I did a bit of research for this post that I actually took the time to look at the lyrics properly and find out “what it was all about”. Doubt very much if that dalliance at the motel would have led to a long lasting relationship – Silly man, he should have kept his foot on the pedal and drove on past. But if he had we wouldn’t have had this fine song which I’ve always liked the sound of.

      It was definitely because of Jez’s Galveston post that I found this little corner and then I think CC put me on his sidebar. I started to find out about the others that way and via The Chain. Great that we also have little corners elsewhere – I like visiting the American bloggers posts where I find out about other bloggers we all have in common. Millions of sites out there but I keep coming across the same commenters, wherever I go!

      Yes I gave up trying not to over-share this year as it was cathartic to write about all that was going on. If you mix it up with the music it kind of works. Intending to come back with another couple of posts before Xmas Day but might be biting off more that I can chew – Hopefully not, in which case I’ll leave the festive greeting until then but yes, been great “meeting you” here too. Lets see what 2019 brings.

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  4. As part of your ‘Not the Chain’ series can I suggest the rather wonderful ‘25 or 6 to 4’ by Chicago?
    I’m so glad you found this remote outpost where the internet buses seldom run; you’re definitely among friends here…

    Have a great Christmas Alyson.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is definitely Not The Chain (not worthy of such a blogging feat) but if it had been, yes, another great suggestion. A link not just to another song by the same artist, or the same song sung by someone else, but a link to another place name. I didn’t think I knew the song until I heard it but of course just so familiar, just hadn’t clicked that was the title before.

      Yes, glad I found this particular bus route – A fine place to spend some time with like-minded folk!

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