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Del Shannon Still Remembered

Del Shannon Album Cover

Del Shannon Album Cover

Among the classicist rock fans of my acquaintance, especially those in the Detroit area, guys like Let’s Talk About Girl’s Barry Holdship, Del Shannon is revered as a whole lot more than the “Runaway” guy who died too young at 55 years old. But once you get past “Runaway” (with an early version of the synthesizer invented by Shannon himself) and the epic “Hats Off To Larry”, you’ll find yourself immersed in the 1960s with plenty of production and recording reaching a zenith with the power pop psychedelic Home And Away recorded in 1967 and in an baffling and stupid record label decision, not released till 1978.

In 2013, the fine The Del Shannon Tribute Album Vol I was released, I gave it  positive review (B+) though it seemed a touch too much like the Don Dixon All Stars, with Don, wife Marti Jones, Marshall Crenshaw, Kelley Ryan, like that, leading the way.Plus some pretty good folks like The Britannicas, the Rubinos. who killed “Hats Off To Harry”, and, gasp Randy Bachman!!! As well as some names I didn’t recognize though nobody embarrassed themselves. Drysdales got the classic “I Go To Pieces” and this may well be, er nepotism?, since Drysdales singer songwriter Patrick Potts is the driving force behind the Tribute album. Patrick is currently working on Volume  II (and I recommend a track by track recording of Home And Away) and as always all proceeds go benefit the Del Shannon Memorial Fund (a yearly musical scholarship Shannon’s family awards in his name to a student at Coopersville High school).

Patrick was kind enough to forward me some fun facts about the Volume I, and I repost them here because, well, why bother rewriting them.

I started this project with the Support of Dels Family and his Manager (Dan Bourgoise – Ex CEO Bug Music) over 10yrs ago….

Dan & I are Co-Exec Producers. Andrew Loog Oldham was an early project mentor as well (And huge Del fan & Friend) but had to bow out with other obligations…

2 of Dels daughters grace the first track (With Kelley Ryan)

Max Crook (Co writer and Musitron player on the original Runaway) is on Joe G’s cut

Steve Nieve (elvis costello) is singing harmonies on Restless (Which was co-Written by Dan Bourgoise)

Tal Bachman is on Runaway with his dad Randy

2 Raspberries Bass players are involved (Dave Smalley and Scott McCarl (on Drysdales Cut)

Kelley Ryan is on 2 cuts (hers and Marti Jones (Also produced both))

Clancy Potts is on 2 cuts:
StayStillPills Lead Vox and Clap Tracks on Drysdales tune (Nepotism is the new black- including Clancy, my bro Steve and our kids there are 6 Potts family members on this disc..)

Randy Bachman has sold over 40Million records and has over 120 Gold and Platinum albums/singles worldwide (and gave us a great quote!!)

Randy Bachman recorded Runaway w Tal and the re-recorded a Jazzier version w J Geils and Duke Robillard as “The New Guitar Summit” – the first version is one of his favorite covers (and he has many)

Carla Olsons first big gig was opening for Del Shannon

The first song the Rubinoo’s ever learned as a group was “Hats Off To Larry”

2 of the songs were recorded within a mile of each other in Ballywilliam and Cloyne, County Cork Ireland (Marti Jones & StayStillPills)

Mike Konopka who engineered and produced the cuts by both The Drysdales and Nash Kato (engineer only), also recorded Del Shannon live for a WXRT Show in Chicago in 1982.




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