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Died On This Date (February 8, 1990) Del Shannon / Early ’60s Rock ‘n Roll Star

Posted by themusicsover on February 8, 2010

Del Shannon (Born Charles Westover)
December 30, 1934 – February 8, 1990

With Tom Petty

Del Shannon was a country leaning rock ‘n roll star of the early ’60s.  His hits included “Hats Off to Larry,” “Little Town Flirt,” and 1961’s “Runaway,” which became a #1 single.  Shannon continued to release moderate hits until he turned to producing during the mid ’60s.  In a 1968 comeback attempt, Shannon released an album more fitting of the time, the psychedelic leaning The Further Adventures of Charles Westover.   Although it was considered his masterpiece by many critics and core fans alike, it failed to produce any hit singles and struggled with sales.  Shannon all but vanished from the music business during the ’70s, only to resurface in 1981 thanks to the help of fan, Tom Petty who produced and lent his Heartbreakers to his Drop Down and Get Me.  The album was a welcome return, and Shannon continued to release albums throughout much of the ’80s.  Around that time, his “Runaway” found a new audience by way of the NBC television drama, Crime Story, for which it became the theme song.  As the ’90s dawned, there was talk that Shannon was to replace the recently deceased Roy Orbison in the Traveling Wilburys.  Sadly however, Shannon, who reportedly struggled with depression, fatally shot himself at his Canyon Country, California home on February 8, 1990.  He was 55.

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Drop Down and Get Me - Del Shannon

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