Del Shannon - Guitar Chords and Tabs with Lyrics
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Inhe was drafted into the U. We met at the theatre on Main Street in Coopersville. Standards of the day were the usual set list. Westover won a best musician award, not for his singing ability, but for his guitar playing. At Christmas time, the Westovers attended a holiday party at the Stuttgart orphanage, where they sponsored orphan children.
Westover worked at Brunswick Furniture hammering feet onto chairs as a production line worker. It bored the hell out of him. He soon graduated to lift truck driver but that bored him too. Inhe found a job by day selling carpets, working at the Carpet Outlet for a man named Peter Vice. By night, he found a part-time job moonlighting at a dumpy bar called the Hi-Lo Club. He was hired as a guitar player by then front-man Doug DeMott, who had organized a group called the Moonlight Ramblers.
Left is Del, middle is Doug Demott singingand right on bass is L. DeMott was a good mentor for young Westover. He gave him the chance to sing a few songs on stage, play lead, and encouraged him to write songs. Westover made many friends as a guitarist and drinker at the Hi-Lo Club.
Wes Kilbourne was a club regular and also worked with Westover at Brunswick. He was part of the crowd however, and they would sing, play, and drink into the wee hours. Charlie Marsh, Battle Creek disc jockey extraordinaire, attended nights at the Hi-Lo frequently looking for talent.
I shopped demo tapes for him just like Ollie McLaughlin did, but Ollie was the one that got him the recording contract. He kept Loren Dugger on bass, and hired two more players: Dick Pace on guitar, and Dick Parker on drums. Parker, then just eighteen, was a referral.
Westover was in need of another guitarist, and hired Bob Popenhagen, a local guitarist who could also play left handed and play organ well. Popenhagen was a great addition to the band. He was well liked and in early he left to front a band at another Battle Creek bar, the El Grotto.
This put Westover in need of another player. Drummer Dick Parker suggested that Westover call a man he knew who played accordion and piano. He wanted a guitar player.
Crook arrived one night at the Hi-Lo Club to audition for the part of organist. Westover and Crook laid down song after song. But they never did. McLaughlin came in to the Hi-Lo Club one night after hours to hear some songs. He was black and in those days the Hi-Lo was an all white club. Westover and Crook gave McLaughlin a few songs on reel-to-reel to take back with him to Detroit: Lonely and Seventh Hour.
Anxious to get on record, both Westover and Crook agreed and signed five-year contracts. Balk suggested name changes for both of the newly signed artists. Since he never used it, Westover took the name. Max Crook took the name Maximilian, a clever king-like name that sounded authoritative.
Balk decided to scrap the session, and that there was no hope for a single. Lonely and Seventh Hour were given to Johnny and the Hurricanes to record. They released just one, Mr. Shannon, depressed about the failing session, was encouraged by McLaughlin and Balk to write something a little more uptempo. Demo tapes were sent off to McLaughlin, who heard a snippet of a song called Little Runaway, which had been recorded over. McLaughlin asked Shannon and Crook to re-record the song.
McLaughlin liked what he heard and drove to Detroit again to sit with Balk and Micahnik to negotiate another recording session. McLaughlin pressed hard, believing highly in the potential of this Little Runaway song. Harry Balk called Shannon and told him that he would set up another session. Shannon and Crook made the long mile trip to New York by car to record the session. It was the middle of winter, and the heater broke in the car. Del and Max brought their wives with them, Shirley and Joann.
They wrapped blankets around them in the back seat to keep warm. Max was allergic to smoke, and Del smoked cigars. Bell Sound was one the first professional 4-track recording studios in the world at the time, and Balk and Micahnik were willing to pay the top dollar to get a professional recording slicked. Shannon again was nervous in the recording studio, as he felt overshadowed by such talented musicians.
Bill Ramal was a master of arrangements, and here was Del, just a guy who wrote a hit song. He set up his musitron in the recording studio as the session men and engineers gawked. Harry Balk produced the session, running around the place with an iron fist. Plug that cord in. He had a great ear for music and sound, and used threats and force as a means to accomplish what he needed done in a hurry!
Balk was a good organizer, and he chose his session players carefully. Although Shannon was an accomplished guitarist, he was never given much opportunity to play it in his years with Bigtop. The recording session lasted just three hours, and everyone seemed to know they had laid down a few good tracks.
Runaway was played to distributors via a telephone hook-up in the control room, where distributors across the country could hear a rough mix and pre-order before it went to press. Runaway was released on Bigtop Records in February of and it began immediately to climb the charts. By March, Balk was on the phone calling Shannon at the club and telling him Runaway was indeed a runaway…selling 80, records a day. Shannon asked if that meant he could quit the club.
Harry replied in the affirmative and told Shannon to get to New York as quickly as possible. A show had been scheduled at the Paramount Theatre in Brooklyn. Runaway made Shannon an instant star. His bio was written by his manager Irving Micahnik, who changed the married 26 year old singer with two kids into a 21 year old milk drinking superstar, unmarried and available to all young women, with no attachments.
When wife Shirley traveled with him on tour, she was billed as his sister. Shannon was not allowed to play guitar on stage. He was forced to wear iron-pressed suits and snap his fingers like Frank Sinatra.
This was not an uncommon practice. Shannon sang his only hit Runaway four times a day at the Paramount.
Little Town Flirt Del Shannon Chords and Lyrics for Guitar
Shannon was joined by his mother and father, and felt he had finally proven himself in the eyes of many in his hometown, including his high school principal, Russell Conran, who mentored Shannon and managed to keep him in school. Shannon had very high regard for this man and in later years always made a point of visiting him as if he were family. But the small town thinking still lurked in the background. Shannon was not allowed to sing Runaway to the high school student body.
It was feared by the school faculty that if Shannon sang, the youngsters would get out of control. After his speech, Shannon was to receive the key to the city from the Coopersville mayor. The mayor never showed up. Rock and Roll was not yet accepted in this small town, much in the same respect as blacks or Hispanics.
Del Shannon – Full Length Biography
That night, Shannon played Runaway and a few other numbers on Main Street in downtown Coopersville on the back on a flatbed truck. Max Crook joined him. Police protection was necessary in case a riot or frenzy broke loose. Bobby and Dion took the farm boy out of Shannon and slicked him up with a new hairstyle and some Italian suits.
Shannon supplied only vocals, while session ace Al Caiola played guitar. Hats Off To Larry was released in the summer of and took the fifth spot on the charts as Runaway worked its way down. He had two younger sisters. When Del Shannon was known as Chuck Westover, as a child. But kids are kids. We played softball, played on the football team together. He was a grade ahead of me. Everywhere he went he had that damn guitar. He was an indifferent student, although he exhibited a knack for writing.
He was already experiencing some of the feelings of alienation that would later color his songs. While in high school, he met a bright and lively farm girl named Shirley, who originally agreed to a date on the strength of his sending her the first flowers she had ever received from a boy. He was 19; she was Chuck entered the army and the newlyweds soon found themselves in Stuttgart, Germany.
Westover won a talent contest and played guitar in a band called the Cool Flames. He was discharged inbut after having no luck finding a good job back home, he enlisted in the Air Force with the provision he be stationed in Battle Creek.
While in Battle Creek, he worked at a furniture store during the day and played rhythm guitar for a small group at the Hi-Lo Club at night.
InCrook, a young keyboardist who had formed a band while attending college in Kalamazoo, came aboard, setting up on stage an odd-looking homemade machine he dubbed the Musitron.
It was a very early version of the synthesizer, made of tubes, resistors, amplifiers, appliance parts, and wires, and it produced some wonderfully futuristic electronic sounds.