One of the great, unsung rock-n-rollers of the 1960s, Del Shannon waxed the classic "Runaway," which briefly sent him to the top of the charts in 1961 before a long decline that ended with his suicide in 1990. On paper, Shannon possessed an abundance of talent: a muscular voice capable of producing a gritty, bluesy growl as well as a stratospheric falsetto, in addition to considerable songwriting and producing chops and a knack for stinging guitar work. But audiences captivated by "Runaway" failed to find similar interest in his subsequent work, and by the mid-1960s, Shannon had been inaccurately labeled a one-hit wonder - he had reached the Top 40 on several occasions between 1961 and 1964 - and relegated to the oldies circuit. Depression and alcoholism robbed him of much of the 1970s, though he began launching a fitful comeback in 1981 with a Top 40 cover of "Sea of Love." But the modest hit and critical praise for his enduring gifts, proved inadequate in keeping Shannon out of the pit of despair. He took his own life in the early morning hours of Feb. 8, 1990, one year before the release of his final, critically-acclaimed album <i>Rock On!</i> (1991), produced by longtime fan Jeff Lynne of ELO fame. Though Del Shannon's life was the stuff of tragedy, the enduring popularity of his greatest hit, "Runaway," was testimony to his status as one of pop-rock's most gifted, yet unsung performers.