Del Shannon (Charles Weedon Westover)
BiographyGrand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Born Charles Westover in Coopersville, Michigan, on December 30, 1934, rocker Del Shannon claimed legendary country-western singer Hank Williams as an early influence, but his first record was unadulterated rock: the classic "Runaway" in 1961, highlighted by Shannon's falsetto and keyboardist Max Crook's wailing Musitron (an invention of his). It shot to #1 in both the US and the UK. He had several follow-up hits, including "Hats Off to Larry" and "Little Town Flirt", but his last big hit came in 1965, with "Keep Searchin' ". Read more... notably a cover of Bobby Freeman's "Do You Wanna Dance?". Shannon spent much of the late 1960s and early 1970s touring Great Britain, where he found a more receptive and admiring audience than he did in the US. In 1985 he had a minor hit on the US country music charts with "In My Arms Again". Shortly afterwards he began touring in rock-n-roll revival shows. On February 8, 1990, after battling a combination of drugs, alcohol and depression for years, he shot himself to death.