Del Shannon

Del Shannon

Original Name Charles Weedon Westover
Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, USA
Death 8 Feb 1990 (aged 55)
Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered
Memorial ID 6562600 · View Source
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Musician. Born Charles Weedon Westover in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Bert and Leone Westover. He learned to play the ukulele as a child and graduated to the guitar at fourteen. He served in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958, and when he returned to Michigan he joined a rockabilly band and changed his name to Del Shannon – a name derived from an aspiring wrestler and a Coup deVille. Discovered by a local DJ, Shannon signed on with EmBee Productions in Detroit, an affiliate of Big Top Records. His first record for EmBee was ‘Runaway' which shot to number one for 1961, making Shannon an instant celebrity. Shannon followed up with ‘Hats Off to Larry,' ‘Little Town Flirt,' ‘Handy Man,' and ‘Do You Wanna Dance.' In 1963 he became the first American artist to record and chart a Lennon-McCartney song in the United States. His cover of ‘From Me to You' debuted six months before the Beatles' own American chart debut. In 1965 Peter & Gordon covered Shannon's ‘I Go to Pieces' for a hit. In 1968 Shannon released the album ‘The Further Adventures of Charles Westover. He produced Brian Hyland's million seller ‘Gypsy Woman' in 1970. His career dropped off in the 1970s seeing only the release of his 1973 album, ‘Live in England.' In 1981 a new album, ‘Drop Down and Get Me' yielded a Top Forty hit, ‘Sea of Love;' something Shannon had not seen since 1965. In 1984 he wrote and recorded two country songs, ‘Stranger on the Run' and ‘In My Arms Again' the latter charting at number fifty-six. Shannon gained a new audience in 1986 after re-recording his 1961 hit ‘Runaway' with new lyrics which was to be used as the theme for the television show, ‘Crime Story.' Shannon then collaborated with Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty in order to record a new album. Shannon recorded his last album ‘Rock On' with accompaniment by Petty and the Heartbreakers. When the album was nearly completed, Shannon; who'd suffered bouts of depression and alcoholism for thirty years, fatally shot himself. On March 15, 1999 Del Shannon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Cinnamonntoast4
  • Added: 29 Jun 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6562600
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Del Shannon (30 Dec 1934–8 Feb 1990), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6562600, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered.