Del Shannon (Born Charles Weedon Westover, December 30, 1934 - February 8, 1990) was an American rock and roll singer-songwriter who had a No. 1 hit, 'Runaway', in 1961. Del Shannon was born Charles Weedon Westover in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He grew up in Coopersville, a small town near Grand Rapids. There he learned ukulele and guitar and listened to country and western music, including Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Lefty Frizzell. He was drafted into the Army in 1954, and while in Germany played guitar in a band called The Cool Flames. When his service ended, he returned to Battle Creek, Michigan, and worked in a furniture factory as a truck driver and carpet salesman. He also found part-time work as a rhythm guitarist in singer Doug DeMott's group, working at the Hi-Lo Club. When DeMott was fired in 1958, Westover took over as leader and singer, giving himself the name Charlie Johnson and renaming his band The Big Little Show Band.
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