500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Del Shannon, 'Runaway'
Writers: Shannon, Max Crook
Producers: Harry Balk, Irving Micahnik
Released: March '61, Big Top
17 weeks; No. 1
As a kid, Shannon got his first guitar for $5. His truck-driver dad wasn't too happy about it. "'You get that goddamn guitar outta here' — that's the exact words my father used," Shannon recalled. "However, my ma said, 'It's OK, son. You can sing for me.'" He sang this hit with raw emotion; co-writer Crook played the solo on an early electronic keyboard called the Musitron.
Appears on: Greatest Hits (Rhino)