The Del Shannon’s rock classic “Runway” peaks to No.1 in 1961

The song became one of the 1960’s most memorable hits

The Del Shannon’s rock classic “Runway” peaks to No.1 in 1961

Written by Del Shannon and keyboardist Max Crook, “Runway” was released by Del Shannon in February 1961 backed with “Jody” on BigTop records. The song became almost an instant hit, with it’s distinctive guitar riff intro and the clavioline-based electric keyboard solo. On April 10, 1961, shortly after the single was released, Shannon was invited to appear on the popular Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. That break helped to catapult the song to No.1 of the U.S Hot 100 on April 24, where it remained for four weeks. “Runway” it’s one of the most memorable songs of the 1960’s, and it’s success was not limited to American audiences. Worldwide, it peaked the top of the charts, including all over Europe. Over the years, this absolute Rock classic has been covered extensively, including by Elvis Presley and also re-recorded by Del Shannon in 1967, however only reached No.122 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under the Hot 100 in that same year. Del Shannon never was able to replicate the success of “Runway” throughout his career. He passed in 1990 at age 55 by suicide.

Look back: Del Shannon performing “Runaway” on TV’s Hollywood a Go-Go in 1964-65



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