A Tribute to Del Shannon

The Lakeview middle school auditorium will be rockin’ on Saturday, November 12, with the sounds of  the 60’s and the music of Del Shannon. The concert, “A Tribute to Del Shannon”, will feature James Popenhagen and the Hi-Lo’s, singing all of Shannon’s hits including “Runaway”, “Hats Off to Larry”, and  “I Go to Pieces” which Shannon wrote for Peter & Gordon.

     Del Shannon came to Battle Creek in the mid-50’s as Chuck Westover, having grown up in Coopersville, Michigan. He performed at various clubs in and around Battle Creek, including the Hi-Lo Club in downtown Battle Creek where he gave the  first performance of his legendary hit song “Runaway” which hit the top of the pop charts in April of 1961. He wrote the lyrics to the song while working at the Carpet Outlet on Columbia Ave., which is now Hagaman’s Used Furniture store.

“Runaway” sold over 6 million records, remained at the top of the charts for 6 straight weeks, and was eventually recorded by over 200 other recording artists. It is considered by many as one of the top ten most unique sounding rock ‘n roll anthems of all time. Shannon followed “Runaway” with a string of other hits and also wrote songs for many other artists including Tom Petty, Bonnie Rait, and Peter & Gordon.

     James Popenhagen is a singer/songwriter who has been performing since the age of eight after meeting his grandfather’s friend, Del Shannon. His grandfather, Bob  Popenhagen, was Shannon’s lead guitar player at the Hi-Lo Club back in the 50’s and 60’s. James has performed with the likes of Tommy Roe, Brian Hyland, Frankie Ford, and countless other performers from the fifties and sixties. He is now working on his first solo album, with Johnny Carver in Nashville, and has contributed to over a dozen albums over the past fifteen years. Besides music, James has appeared in the New York music video “So Long Baby” and also in “Touch Back”, a movie starring Kurt Russell and Barry Sanders, slated to be released in December of 2011.

    According to Richard Schlatter, promoter of the concert, “James is as close to Del Shannon as you’re going to get. I saw him and the Hi-Lo’s last summer in concert in Coopersville and the crowd couldn’t get enough. He even mimics all of Del’s on-stage moves.  This will be a great opportunity for the people of Battle Creek to take a walk back in time and relive what happened here 50 years ago.”

    The tickets are only $15 with all the profits going to the Woman’s Co-op of Battle Creek. The Co-op is a network of over 200 women, working together to build independence and a stronger community by improving their lives through life management skills, education, and employment opportunities. The concert starts at 8:00 p.m. with a limited amount of tickets available at the door. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Jim Hazel’s Citgo, The Front Page Family Hair Care, and at the Co-op office at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Loading Quotes...