Legendary Michigan Songs

33.) Hats Off To Larry - Del Shannon

Artist Name: Del Shannon
Year Inducted: 2009

"Hats Off To Larry"  (D. Shannon) - Del Shannon;  Big Top label,  # 5 Billboard Hot 100 - 1961.  Inducted in 2009.

"Hats Off To Larry" was Del Shannon's all-important follow-up single to his debut smash, "Runaway". As a result of "Runaway", Shannon had been added to a series of big rock and roll shows in the spring of 1961 at Brooklyn's Paramount Theatre, headlined by Jackie Wilson, Dion, and Bobby Vee. Del wrote "Hats Off To Larry" in his dressing room between shows in the presence of both Dion and Bobby Vee. Shannon returned to New York on May 11th with keyboardist Max Crook and recorded the song in one day.

Released in June 1961, "Hats Off To Larry" was a big summer hit for Del, spending 13 weeks in the Hot 100. It was another song about a romantic break-up and sounded similar to "Runaway". Shannon once again employed his falsetto, only this time it was "Cry, cry, cry" rather than "Why, why, why". 

"Hats Off To Larry" differed from its predecessor in some ways, however. The song starts slowly with a 13-second introduction before kicking into gear. Sax and piano play a lesser role on "Hats Off To Larry" than on "Runaway". Max Crook is again featured prominently throughout with keyboard flourishes at the line of each line and another musitron solo mid-song.

Both Runaway" and "Hats Off To Larry" established Del Shannon as a major star in England. Nine of his next ten singles charted higher in Great Britain than in the United States. 

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaagl9rY9do