6 comments on “Del Shannon – Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow the Sun)

  1. Often overlookeed and under documented are Del’s later entries…to wit his Tom Petty produced Network LP ‘Drop Down and Get Me’ which gave him a moderate US hit with ‘Sea of Love’ back in 1982, his 1987 reappearance with ‘Runaway’ being re-recorded and used under the opening credits of Michael Mann’s Crime Story TV show, some involve,ment with The Smithereens in 1988 on their ‘Green Thoughts’ LP and his last full LP on MCA recorded in 1989 again with Tom Petty and fellow Wilbury Jeff Lynne co-producing. This was a fine LP which featured a new recording of his classic original ‘I Go To Pieces’. (Sorry, I couldn’t find my copy fast enough to grab the title…but it is probably out of print. Notes from the 1990 Rhino Mono Del Shannon: Greatest Hits also make note of the possibility of Harrison & Smithereen involement on this disc (which was released after the Rhino re-issue).

    I have a Traveling Wilburys bootleg re-issue of the second CD, Volume 3, that cites and presents Del’s involvement on the tracks ‘Maxine’, ‘Like A Ship’ and two re-recordings of ‘Runaway’. I do have a Traveling Wilburys UK CD single of ‘She’s My Baby’ that also features an instrumental version of ‘New Blue Moon’ and a version of ‘Runaway’ that appears to have Jeff Lynne’s vocals on it (and is definitley different from the bootleg versions which sure SOUND like Del). What I heard is that he was asked to join the Traveling Wilburys after Roy Orbison’s death (a natural choice, especially due to his connection with Petty) and began to get worked in when apparently his self-doubt and accompanying depression left over from alcoholism recovery got the better of him and lead him to suicide. Since there was no note, this is just speculation at best, but as a recovering addict myself I would vouch for it being a real possibility, mentally and emotionally.

    His career after his initial run back in the sixties has always been marginalized though well documented in re-issues. One of my particular favorites is an LP I picked up back in 1972 or 3…Del Shannon Live in England, released here on Unioted Artists. If you can find it (it has been re-issued on CD) you will be amazed at how powerful he was in a live setting…’I loved his version of Jimmy Jones ‘Handy Man’, easily as good if not better than the original…and his version of Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’ challenged the original as well. Who else do you know who could do Orbison justice?

    Bill Holdship, who does the liner notes to the Rhino reissue opines that Del’s influence runs from the obvious Elton John’s ‘Crocodile Rock’ to springsteen’s ‘Hungry Heart’ and in fact, he staes that he believes that “…90 percentof Springsteen’s material starts with themes introduced byDel’s ‘Keep Searching [I’ll Follow The Sun]’. Someday we’ll get to that placein the sun, but for nowgirl, we’ll just run.”

    I’d be inclined to agree with him. I remember being a DJ at a local club the night of the day that Del’s suicide was announced. I played a set of all the standard singles I had with me and ended with ‘Keep Searching’. There were young ‘kids’ who had been too young to remember Del at his peak like I did who made a point of coming up and remarking in the power of the music and thanking me for playing what I did. That’s the power of Del’s music that I will remember.

  2. Larry, I’m a Bobby Rydell fan. I grew up in Philly, and therefore was exposed back in the day.
    Give a second listen to ‘Wild One” and “Volare”, Philly production at it’s fullest.
    I also like Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) by Domenico Mogugno, give a listen, just beautiful.
    Give a thought to some Orlons for Funky 16..
    “Crossfire”, “Not Me”, “Knock Knock”, and “Don’t Hang Up”
    thanks again

  3. You forgot the organ solo ! I was a little boy when that song came out. I have the chance, then, to have a sister and brother in their teen years. When they reunited with friends to flirt and dance, I was their DJ ! Me, little boy of 8, spinning Beatles and Stones singles for these “old people” ! I surely remember Keep Searchin’ as one of my favorite record. As I grew older, I realize how much that song rocks, had an intense feeling, a big heavy sound.
    It’s the first time I wrote something here, but believe me, I really appreciate the work you are doing. Same for the soul blog. Thank you.

  4. i think keep searchin is a masterpiece! the organ, the foot stomping, del’s voice – what other song has all of that? Songs that come close to keep searchin are i’ve done everything for you (rick springfield) and temptation eyes (grass roots). I am 67 and I still love good fast music as well as slower , more beautiful songs. I still remember when I was 12 and I heard the very 1st cool song in my life on the radio – don’t be cruel by elvis. Up to that point,the music was ok but it luckily changed 4 the better. If u guys know of any other songs like keep searchin, I am on facebook as Tom Felock and my email is tomfelock@comcast.net

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