Del Shannon | West Mich Music Hysterical Society
"Little Town Flirt", in (with Bob Babbitt), reached number 12 in , as did the album of the same title. After these hits .. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publ. Del Shannon, "Home and Away" (book accompanying the eight-CD box set). Just listening to 'Little Town Flirt' now what a fantastic record that is! That album went a long way towards making me a Del Shannon fan. . is one of my all time fave recordings, so I guess I should hunt down Del's take. With this song American singer and composer Del Shannon proved that not only . of the albums Del Shannon Sings Hank Williams and Little Town Flirt were.
This CD collected the eleven original tracks in stereo and the five single releases US, UK and Philippines in their original monaural mixes. Inhe recorded Live In England, released in June Reviewer Chris Martin critiqued the album favourably, saying that Shannon never improvised, was always true to the original sounds of his music, and that only Lou Christie rivaled his falsetto.
RSO Recordswhich recorded Shannon, folded. He performed pop-rock tunes and old hits. Producer Michael Mann felt this was definitive of the era in which the program was set. Shannon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in and his contributions have been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Inwhen he was making himself heard at that club, Del Shannon already was 25 years old. Due to a deliberate birth date change, many people thought and still think he was younger by a few years.
The reason for that is, that Shannon's birth date was changed at the time "Runaway" was released. Shannon's songs then were mainly bought by teenagers, while Shannon himself didn't belong to that category anymore. So to maintain the youthful impression people had of him, his birth date was altered into 30 December According to his birthday-certificate and tombstone, Charles Weedon Westover — Shannon's real name — however was four years older, as he was born on 30 December in Coopersville, Michigan.
It is also in that club that Shannon and Max Crook met each other. It was a happy coincidence, because Crook not only was a good keyboard player, but also an innovator of electronic devices. He invented what is now known as a Musitron, a hybrid syntheziser.
Crook started with a clavioline, a French organ developed by Constant Martin inand enhanced it by expanding the octave range beyond human hearing. He inserted extra resistors, pots, and capacitors. It not easy to catch the specific sound of the Musitron in words, but you can hear its sound very well on Shannon's first album Runaway with Del Shannon.
Del Shannon | Page 3 | Steve Hoffman Music Forums
The best example, of course, is Shannon's milestone song "Runaway" itself. The Musitron can be described as a predecessor of the synthesizer. It has a range of — electronic — sounds that in the early sixties were quite unfamiliar to the public. When you listen to songs from other artists from the same period, you will realize how innovative and modern this record sounded in It is also understandable that even over forty years later, a whole lot of people will recognize this tune just by hearing the first few bars.
As always, every pro has its con, and that also happened to Del Shannon.
The original sound of "Runaway" made every song he released later on, seem of a lesser quality. That is clearly reflected by his scores on the charts. The merit of his songs, however, did not diminish. In the public appreciation, his style diversity must have played a more important role. Though Shannon was a "rocker" at heart, he was always a multi-styled artist with a great passion for country music.
He was simply one of those legends in music that couldn't be categorized.
In the USA, with its separated musical streams and audiences, this made it rather difficult for him to stay in the spotlights. In Great Britain, however, Shannon was often better appreciated, and has always been rated "top of the bill". He also had a good feeling for things to come. The people, who knew Shannon's old style, possibly couldn't cope with the new influences and direction in his music.
Shannon was a "bridge" between country, rock, pop and who knows what else. He was an energetic performer and a wonderful songwriter. A major part of his catalogue consists of songs originally written by Shannon himself, some in cooperation with others. When Shannon's career slowed down under the influence of the British Invasion, his producer forced him to record songs that were popular at that time.
This proved to be a major mistake, because a lot of those covers just weren't his style and therefore Shannon recorded them only half-heartedly. Not on purpose, but only because he could not "connect" to them.
On some tracks this is painfully noticeable. In Shannon had a major fall-out with his manager, which made him leave the Big Top label — for Europe: Consequently he started his own label, BerLee Records — not a common step in those days.
Only two singles emerged from this adventure: Afterwards Shannon signed a contract with Amy records where his former producer and manager also ran the scene. Strangely enough one of Shannon's best songs, "I Go To Pieces" — brought to the charts by Peter and Gordon — stems from this post period. In Shannon switched to the Liberty Label. This change brought a new management and a fresh producer and seemed like a restart for Shannon, but it didn't bring the commercial break everybody was hoping for.
Before continuing this history, I need to tell a special story about Shannon's early managers and producers and the question if there were and still are original stereo-recordings of Shannon's earliest albums. It is common knowledge that the first stereo-recordings were made around It is also common knowledge that the first stereo facilities were situated in New York City.
The very first professional recordings of Shannon were made in Of course, the stereo of those days cannot be compared with that of the present time. I like to refer to it as "antique stereo", meaning that it is just two-track stereo — you hear the music in one channel and the vocals in the other.
Little later, also three-track stereo was used, with the music divided over two channels with the vocals in the "middle" providing the audience with the feeling of being more "inside" the music. The existence of stereo studio facilities at the time of his recording sessions brings up the question, if Shannon was recorded in stereo and if these recordings resulted in stereo-LP's.
After these hits, Shannon was unable to keep his momentum in the U. Inhe became the first American to record a cover version of a song by the Beatles: Berlee Records and Amy Records[ edit ] By AugustShannon's relationship with his managers and Bigtop had soured, so he formed his own label, Berlee Records, named after his parents  and distributed by Diamond Records.
Little Town Flirt
Two singles were issued: The second single, "That's the Way Love Is", did not chart, and Shannon patched things up with his managers soon after. In lateShannon produced a demo recording session for a young fellow Michigander named Bob Segerwho would go on to stardom much later. Shannon gave acetates of the session to Dick Clark he had performed in one of Clark's tours, inand bySeger was recording for Philadelphia's famed Cameo Records, resulting in some regional hits, which eventually led to a deal with a major label, Capitol Records.Del Shannon - Little Town Flirt
The album was recorded in hard-core country honky-tonk style, and no singles were released. Peter and Gordon released his song " I Go to Pieces " in Carver went on to have nearly 20 hits on the country chart during the late s and s.
The liner notes to his debut album for Imperial acknowledge Shannon's role in bringing him to the label.
- And the music plays on ...
In the late s, not having charted for several years, Shannon turned to production. Inhe discovered the band Smith and arranged their hit "Baby, It's You", which had been a hit for the Shirelles in