Rediscovering Del Shannon

A 1977 cut reveals the hard-living soul of a honky-tonk shouter.

Del Shannon

The Dublin Sessions

RockBeat

Blue Fondue

Del Shannon never phoned it in. Best known for tortured early ’60s hits like “Runaway” and “Hats Off to Larry,” the Michigan-bred singer-songwriter combined the hard-living soul of a honky-tonk shouter with fiery, unpretentious rock’n’roll until his death in 1990. Collecting tracks from an abandoned album recorded in 1977, The Dublin Sessions captures Shannon at a commercial low point, but still delivering passionate performances. Among the highlights: the stomping “Best Days of My Life,” the dreamy ballad “Raylene” and a spirited take on kindred spirit Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Some tracks feel slightly unfinished, as if awaiting one more overdub, but that lack of polish only adds to the sense of immediacy. This is a welcome discovery from an essential artist.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.