Runaway With Del Shannon (BigTop, 1961)
Runaway With Del Shannon is the 1961 debut album by American rock and roll singer/song writer Del Shannon. It contains his best known (#1 single) hit, Runaway and is regarded as helping to bridge the period between early rock and the British Invasion. While Shannon (whose real name was Charles Weedon Westover) had trouble maintaining success in the U.S. after Runaway, he continued to have success in the UK despite the fact that he was American (born in Grand Rapids, Michigan). In the late 1960s, he turned more to the production side as his chart success had slowed. His career slowed even more in the 1970s as his alcoholism began to escalate. A re-recording of Runaway for the 1986 NBC drama Crime Story led to renewed interest. Unfortunately, on February 8, 1990, Shannon died by suicide (with a firearm) at his Santa Clarita, California home as he was suffering from depression at age 55. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2005.