Del Shannon / "Runaway"
In late 1960 the Hi-Lo Club, located on this site, "rocked" when the Charlie Johnson Band played "Runaway" the first time. Johnson, whose real name was Charles Westover, was born in Coopersville. In 1960, Westover (1934-1990) signed with Detroit's Big Top Records and adopted the stage name Del Shannon. According to the New York Times, Shannon's 1963 recording of "From Me To You" was the first American release of a Lennon and McCartney song. His last hit was "Sea of Love" in 1982.
Del Shannon wrote the lyrics for "Runaway" and recorded the song on January 21, 1961. "Runaway" was released on the Big Top label and debuted on March 6, 1961. One month later Shannon sang "Runaway" on the "American Bandstand" television show. The song hit the top of the pop charts on April 24, 1961, and remained there for four weeks. "Runaway" sold over six million copies. In 1986, Shannon re-recorded the song as the theme for the "Crime Story" television series, which aired from 1986 to 1988.