Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa

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"Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa"
Single by Gene Pitney
from the album Blue Gene
B-side "Lonely Night Dreams (Of Far Away Arms)"
Released 1963
Genre Pop
Length 2:52
Label Musicor
Songwriter(s) Burt Bacharach, Hal David[1]
Producer(s) Aaron Schroeder, Wally Gold
Gene Pitney singles chronology
"True Love Never Runs Smooth"
"Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa"
"That Girl Belongs to Yesterday"

"Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa" is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David which was a hit for Gene Pitney.[1][2] Its success in the UK enabled Pitney to become an international star. In the US, Pitney peaked at #17 on the pop chart.[3]

The song is notable for its tonal ambiguity, a common feature of Bacharach's constructivist style. The verse is in G major, with a lydian implication in the melody supported by the supertonic major. At the start of the chorus, an interruption of the expected cadence by the subdominant chord (C major) establishes this as the new tonic, with the remainder of the chorus centred around the submediant, dominant and subdominant chords of this key. A similar interruption at the end of the chorus converts an expected perfect cadence in the new key to a modal cadence back into G major. At the end of the song, a dominant seventh on the tonic resolves as a perfect cadence into a new key to finish the song on the subdominant chord of the principal key (C major as viewed from the perspective of a G major tonality).

Cover versions[edit]

  • Jay and the Americans covered the song on their 1963 album, At the Cafe Wha?
  • Dusty Springfield covered it on her 1964 debut album A Girl Called Dusty.[4]
  • Canadian duo Ian & Sylvia covered this song on their 1965 album, Play One More.
  • The O'Kaysions released a version of the song on their 1968 debut album, Girl Watcher[5] and as a single in 1969.
  • It was covered by Yachts in 1980.
  • Claire Hamill released a version of the song in 1983.
  • Swedish singer Östen Warnerbring has made a Swedish version called "15 minuter från Eslöv" ("15 minutes from Eslöv").
  • French singer and composer Claude François made the French version (tells a somewhat different story, though the spirit remains the same) Maman chérie (Lit. "my dear Mum"). In it, instead of telling his 'future ex-girlfriend' that he met someone else, he impersonates a man who's lived a life full of parties, fun, and met a girl, made mistakes, and is too ashamed to have not listened to his parents' advice, and just like in the original, he concludes that he'll "never, never, go home again" (je ne pourrai jamais, jamais, rentrer chez nous). The song is somewhat bleaker in its tone than the original, which is the inverse of what happened when Francois's own song "My Way" was translated; Paul Anka's English lyric for this has deeper meaning than the original French version.

References in popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 24 - The Music Men. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries. 
  2. ^ Dave Austin; Jim Peterik; Cathy Austin (2010), Songwriting For Dummies 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 493. 
  4. ^ Serene Dominic (2003), Burt Bacharach,song by song 
  5. ^ "The O'Kaysions, Girl Watcher". Retrieved November 20, 2016.