RUNAWAY is a fascinating account of the life and music of 60s rock star Del Shannon. From humble beginnings in the rural Midwest, this bar band guitarist rocketed to overnight superstar status when his first big hit clinched the #1 spot on the American Billboard charts, resulting in an international hit in over 20 other countries during the year 1961.
Del Shannon soon followed up “Runaway” with more hits, including “Hats Off To Larry,” “So Long Baby,” “Hey! Little Girl,” “The Swiss Maid,” “Little Town Flirt,” “Two Kinds of Teardrops,” “Handy Man,” “Do You Wanna Dance,” “Keep Searchin’,” and “Stranger In Town.” Shannon was the first American artist to cover a Beatles song in “From Me To You.”
In the late 60s and early 70s, he shifted his focus into production, launching the career of country artist Johnny Carver, discovering a group called Smith that saw a #3 hit with a Shannon-Smith arrangement of “Baby It’s You,” and produced fellow contemporary Brian Hyland’s Top 5 hit “Gypsy Woman.”
Del worked with Jeff Lynne and Dave Edmunds in the 70s, with Tom Petty seeking him out to produce Shannon’s comeback album in 1981, resulting in a #33 hit “Sea of Love” in America.