OK, other things did happen in 1961,
but the arrival of Del Shannon and 'Runaway' was pretty significant.
That voice: Achingly poignant or rockin', he possessed a unique quality. Del didn't invent falsetto, but he made it all his own. UK chart success ran from '61 to '65.
That Song: Yes, perhaps influenced by songs like 'Dream Lover' and 'I Wonder Why', but Runaway shines with originality. A good singer songwriter in '61 was a real rarity. There was a whole lot more to come...
That Instrumental break: Two stacatto 'A's introduced the sound that blew us all away (we're still flying 40 odd years on). Thoughtfully constructed melodically, it stands the test of time, but Max Crook's mongrel synth took us where no keyboard had gone before. Early 60s recording ethics always kept the drums low in the mix, yet perhaps because of this Del's voice & the musitron stand out clearly as the fanfare of a new age.
In 1967-68 a Del Shannon evolved that few would have recognised in his album 'The Further Adventures Of Charles Westover' (his real name). Del painted a strange lyrical and musical picture that isn't found in his work before or after this period.
The Late 60s/early 70s found him producing Brian Hyland, helping him to success with 'Gypsy Woman'.
By 1980 his liason with Tom Petty gave us
the 'Drop Down And Get Me' sessions, and himself a new lease of life.
In 1989 Del, with some inspired new songs, was weaving together a wonderful new album. Posthumously (we lost Del in 1990) it would
become 'Rock On' , and undoubtedly one of his
great projects. If you havn't listened to it,
perhaps now is a good time.....
For all the info you want on Del, just click the links below.