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Del Shannon: A Prince of Rock & Roll

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Del Shannon was a well-known American rock and roller in the 1960’s.  Shannon, whose real name was Charles Weedon Westover, was born in Michigan, specifically in Coopersville.  Del was born on December 30, 1934 and died on February 8, 1990, when he was 56 years old.  In 1961, he achieved one of the highest points of fame in his artistic career. With the very successful hit titled “Runaway”, which got to be No. 1 in many places, Del Shannon introduced the musitron, which constituted a previous version of a synthesizer.

One year later, Del Shannon launched the album called “Little Town Flirt”, which became one of his most known discs, as well as the single of the same name comprised in the album that reached #12 in 1963.  Nevertheless, Del’s momentum could not remain in the United States for a long time, but he started earning fame in the United Kingdom.  Hence, in this same year, Del Shannon got to be the first American artist that recorded a cover version of a song of The Beatles, which was “From Me to You”.  In this way, Shannon continued releasing songs that soon became great hits, including “Do You Wanna Dance” and “Stranger in Town”.

At the end of the 60’s, after he had succeeded a lot as an artist, he started his career as a producer.  Thus, working with Smith, which was a band discovered by him in 1969, and one year later, Del produced “Gypsy Woman”, which was an incredibly successful release of his friend Brian Hyland’s.  Some time after, Shannon re-recorded his song “Runaway” for Crime Story, a TV program.  Thus, in spite of the fact that Del Shannon shot himself in 1990, he will always be remembered as one of the best examples of the 60’s’ music.

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