Wormz Obituaries

Del Shannon

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Del Shannon died aged fifty-five by committing suphoto of del Shannonicide on 8th February 1990, killing himself with a .22-caliber rifle at his home in Santa Clarita, California, U.S.A.. He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered. Del had been suffering from depression, for which he had been taking the drug Prozac.
Following his death, the Travelling Wilburys honored him by recording a version of "Runaway". Jeff Lynne also co-produced Del Shannon's posthumous album, Rock On, released by Silvertone Records in 1991.
Del Shannon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2005.
Del Shannon was born Charles Weedon Westover on 30th December 1934 and was an American rock and roll and country musician and singer-songwriter, best known for his 1961 number 1 Billboard hit "Runaway".
Del Shannon was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and grew up in nearby Coopersville. He learned to play the ukulele and guitar and listened to country-and-western music, by artists such as Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Lefty Frizzell. He was drafted into the Army in 1954, and while in Germany played guitar in a band called "The Cool Flames". When his service ended, he returned to Battle Creek, Michigan,U.S.A. and worked as a carpet salesman and as a truck driver for a furniture factory. He found part-time work as a rhythm guitarist in the singer Doug DeMott's group, "The Moonlight Ramblers".
When DeMott was fired in 1958 for drunkenness, Del Shannon took over as leader and singer, giving himself the name Charlie Johnson and renaming the band the Big Little Show Band. In early 1959 he added the keyboardist Max Crook, who played the Musitron (his own invention, an early synthesizer). Crook had made recordings, and he persuaded Ann Arbor disc jockey Ollie McLaughlin to listen to the band. McLaughlin took the group's demos to Harry Balk and Irving Micahnik of Talent Artists in Detroit. In July 1960, Del Shannon and Crook signed to become recording artists and composers for Bigtop Records.
Del Shannon 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 January 21st, 1961, they recorded "Runaway", which was released as a single in February 1961, reaching number One on the Billboard chart in April. Del Shannon followed with "Hats Off to Larry", which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard chart and number 2 on the Cashbox chart 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 , reached number 12 in 1963, as did the album of the same title. After these hits, Del was unable to keep his momentum in the U.S.A. but had continued success in the United Kingdom, 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 version of "From Me to You" charted in the U.S.A. before the Beatles' version.
By August 1963, Del Shannon's relationship with his managers and Bigtop had soured, so he formed his own label, Berlee Records, named after his parents and distributed by Diamond Records. Two singles were issued: the apparently Four Seasons–inspired "Sue's Gotta Be Mine" was a moderate hit, reaching number 71 in the U.S.A, and number 21 in the UK where his records continued on the London Records label. The second single, "That's the Way Love Is", did not chart, and Del patched things up with his managers soon after. In early 1964, he was placed on Amy Records’ (Stateside label in the UK), and the Berlee label disappeared.
He returned to the charts immediately with "Handy Man", "Do You Wanna Dance?", and two originals, "Keep Searchin'" number 3 in the UK; number 9 in the U.S. , and "Stranger in Town" number 40 in the UK . In late 1964, Del Shannon produced a demo recording session for a young fellow Michigander named Bob Seger, who would go on to stardom much later. Del gave acetates of the session to Dick Clark (he had performed in one of Clark's tours, in 1965), and by 1966, Seger was recording for Philadelphia's famed Cameo Records, resulting in some regional hits, which eventually led to a deal with a major label, Capitol Records. Also in late 1964 Del Shannon paid tribute to one of his own musical idols with 'Del Shannon Sings Hank Williams' . The album was recorded in hard-core country honky-tonk style, and no singles were released. Del opened for Ike and Tina Turner at Dave Hull's Hullabaloo club in Los Angeles, California, on December 22nd, 1965.
In the late 1960s, not having charted for several years, Del Shannon turned to production. In 1969, he discovered the band Smith and arranged their hit "Baby, It's You", which had been a hit for the Shirelles in 1963. In 1970, he produced Brian Hyland's million-seller "Gypsy Woman", a cover version of the hit by Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions.
During Del Shannon's tenure at Liberty Records, success on a national scale eluded him, but he did have several regional U.S. chart hits with "The Big Hurt", "Under My Thumb", "She", "Led Along" and "Runaway". That version (recorded in England and produced by Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham) also did well on the Canadian and Australian pop charts. In early 1967 Shannon recorded the album Home and Away in England, with Oldham at the helm. Intended by Oldham as the British answer to Pet Sounds, Home and Away was shelved by Liberty Records, although a handful of singles were issued. It was not until 1978 that all of the tracks were eventually issued on a British album, And the Music Plays On. In 1991, all of the tracks were released in the United States as part of the CD Del Shannon; The Liberty Years. In 2006, 39 years after it was recorded, Home and Away was finally released as a stand-alone collection by EMI Records in the UK. This CD collected the 11 original tracks in stereo and five singles (released in the U.S., the UK and the Philippines) in their original monaural mixes.
In September 1967, Del Shannon began laying down the tracks for The Further Adventures of Charles Westover, which was highly regarded by fans and critics alike, despite disappointing sales. The album yielded two 1968 singles, "Thinkin' It Over" and "Gemini". In October 1968, Liberty Records released their tenth (in the United States) and final Shannon single, a cover of Dee Clark's 1961 hit "Raindrops". This brought to a close a commercially disappointing period in Shannon's career. In 1972, he signed with United Artists and recorded Live In England, released in June 1973. Reviewer Chris Martin critiqued the album favourably, saying that Shannon never improvised, was always true to the original sounds of his music and that only Lou Christie rivaled his falsetto. In April 1975, Del signed with Island Records.
A 1976 article on Shannon's concert at the Roxy Theatre described the singer as "personal, pure and simple rock 'n' roll, dated but gratifyingly undiluted." Del Shannon sang some of his new rock songs along with classics like "Endless Sleep" and "The Big Hurt". The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Shannon's haunting vignettes of heartbreak and restlessness contain something of a cosmic undercurrent which has the protagonist tragically doomed to a bleak, shadowy struggle."
Del Shannon's career slowed greatly in the 1970s, owing in part to his alcoholism. The Welsh rock singer Dave Edmunds produced the single "And the Music Plays On" in 1974. In 1978 Del Shannon stopped drinking and began work on "Sea of Love", released in the early 1980s on his album Drop Down and Get Me, produced by Tom Petty. The album took two years to record and featured Petty's band, the Heartbreakers, backing Shannon. However, RSO Records, to which Shannon was signed, folded. Further work on the LP was done for Network Records (distributed by Elektra Records). Seven songs are Shannon originals with covers of songs recorded by the Everly Brothers, the Rolling Stones, and Frankie Ford, along with "Sea of Love" by Phil Phillips. It was Shannon's first album in eight years.
In February 1982, Del Shannon appeared at the Bottom Line. He performed pop-rock tunes and old hits. Stephen Holden, a reviewer for The New York Times, described an "easygoing pop-country" style. On "Runaway" and "Keep Searchin'", Shannon and his band rediscovered the sound "in which his keen falsetto played off against airy organ obbligatos." In the 1980s, Del Shannon performed "competent but mundane country-rock". In 1986 he had a top-ten hit as a songwriter when the pop-country singer Juice Newton released her cover of his "Cheap Love" as a single, which reached number nine on the Billboard Hot Country chart.image of Del Shannon
Del Shannon had a resurgence of popularity after re-recording "Runaway" with new lyrics as the theme for the NBC-TV program Crime Story. In 1988, he sang "The World We Know" with the Smithereens on their album Green Thoughts. Two years later, he recorded with Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra, and there were rumors he would join the Traveling Wilburys after the death of Roy Orbison. Previously, in 1975, Del Shannon had recorded tracks with Lynne, along with "In My Arms Again", a country song he wrote and recorded for Warner Brothers.

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song:'Little Town Flirt' by Del Shannon