Del Shannon – Runaway (Leaping Ahead #60)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #60: 160229

[A song from 1961]

Singer-guitarist Charles Westover and keyboard player Max Crook originally performed together as members of “Charlie Johnson and the Big Little Show Band” in Battle Creek, Michigan. They won a recording contract in 1960 and Westover took the new stage name “Del Shannon” and Crook became “Maximilian”.

After their first recording session for Big Top Records in New York City had ended in failure, their manager Ollie McLaughlin persuaded them to rewrite and re-record an earlier song they had written, “Little Runaway”, to highlight Crook’s unique instrumental sound. So, on January 24, 1961, they recorded “Runaway” at the Bell Sound recording studios. The rest is history. It was a No.1 on the Billboard top 100, a major international hit and subsequently No. 472 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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