Del Shannon (December 30, 1934 – February 8, 1990) was an American rock and roll singer-songwriter who had a No. 1 hit, "Runaway", in 1961. He flew to New York City, but his first sessions were not successful. McLaughlin then persuaded Shannon and Crook to rewrite and re-record one of their earlier songs, originally called "Little Runaway", using the Musitron as lead instrument. On 21 January 1961, they recorded "Runaway", which was released as a single in February 1961, reaching #1 in the Billboard chart in April.
Shannon followed with "Hats Off to Larry", which peaked at #5 (Billboard) and #2 on Cashbox in 1961, and the less popular "So Long, Baby," another song of breakup bitterness. "Runaway" and "Hats Off to Larry" were recorded in a day. "Little Town Flirt", in 1962 (with Bob Babbitt), reached #12 in 1963, as did the album of the same title. After these hits, Shannon was unable to keep his momentum in the U.S., but continued his success in England, where he had always been more popular. In 1963, he became the first American to record a cover version of a song by The Beatles: his "From Me to You" charted in the US before The Beatles' version.
Suffering from depression, Shannon committed suicide on February 8, 1990, with a .22 caliber rifle at his home while on a prescription dose of the anti-depressant drug Prozac in Santa Clarita, California. Following his death, The Traveling Wilburys honored him by recording a version of "Runaway". Lynne also co-produced Shannon's posthumous album, Rock On, released on Silvertone in 1991. Shannon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, and his contributions have been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
In 2005, Del Shannon was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. In 2007, Shannon's recording of "Runaway" was voted the #1 Legendary Michigan Song. Del has had two other recordings recognized as Legendary Michigan songs: "Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow The Sun)" in 2008 and "Hats Off to Larry" in 2009. Del Shannon was a Great Artist without a doubt.
Del Shannon promo photo
|Birth name||Charles Weedon Westover|
|Also known as||Charlie Johnson|
|Born||December 30, 1934|
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||February 8, 1990 (aged 55)|
Santa Clarita, California, U.S.
|Genres||Rock, country music|
|Labels||Bigtop, Twirl, Berlee, Amy,Liberty, Dunhill, United Artists,Island, Elektra, Silvertone|