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Del Shannon


Born Charles Westover in Coopersville, Michigan, Del Shannon is known today for his dramatic, atypical 1961 single "Runaway," as well as a handful of songs that charted into the 1980s. Throughout his career, Westover leaned toward darker material with often unusual instrumentation, setting him apart from the rest of the pre-British Invasion crowd. In 1968, he released the overlooked, semi- psychedelic gem The Further Adventures of Charles Westover, a truly strange album coming from a former teen idol. With its somber tempos and mournful orchestration, the album seems like a poppier, less unhinged mirror image of Skip Spence's Oar. Westover was, however, doomed to fall into similar circumstances as Spence, mental health-wise. His career stopped in the '70s while he battled alcoholism, finally making a comeback in 1983 with the Tom Petty produced Drop Down And Get Me, which yielded a minor hit in "Sea of Love." In February of 1990, Westover took his own life with a .22 caliber rifle.
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