Posted by: Kath Usitalo | January 7, 2011

Friday Trivia: Name That Tunester

Fan site photo; our trivia hero (left) performs at the HiLo Club in Battle Creek

You know his music, but I wa-wa-wa-wa-wonder if you realize that one of the top rockers of the early 1960s was from West Michigan?

He…

Fan site photo

…was born Charles Westover in Grand Rapids on December 30, 1934
…grew up in Coopersville, a farming community in West Michigan that annually hosts a car show in his honor
…started playing the ukulele as a child, and learned guitar at the age of 14
…married his high school sweetheart at the age of 17
…after serving in the Army, moved to Battle Creek where he sold carpet by day and performed under his stage name at night
…recorded his number one hit in January 1961
…had four Top 40 hits in his first year as a professional singer
…was a “Teen Idol” who was self-taught and actually wrote and performed his own material
…continued to record and tour, and wrote and produced music but never matched his early success
…ended his life with a .22 calibre rifle at his home in California in February 1990
…was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999

Michigan Historic Marker in Battle Creek recognizing the artist

DRUMROLL, PLEASE…

Del Shannon is the man behind the break out hit of 50 years ago: Runaway (and the memorable “run run run run runaway…”).

His other top tunes—also featuring repetitive lyrics—were Hats Off To Larry (“it’s your turn to cry cry cry”) and Little Town Flirt (“hurt hurt hurt hurt…”).

Check out the groovy Runaway YouTube video and the Del Shannon fan website for videos, photos, downloadable tunes, and free membership in the Del Shannon Appreciation Society.

Visitor Info Clicks:
Coopersville
Del Shannon Memorial Car Show

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