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Tribute concert planned for Del Shannon Days

Becky Vargo • Jul 15, 2016 at 5:00 PM

COOPERSVILLE — The only Del Shannon impersonator endorsed by the late musician’s family will be back in Coopersville on Aug. 11 for a concert extravaganza benefiting the Coopersville Area Historical Society Museum and the Del Shannon Scholarship Fund.

The Del Shannon Show takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Coopersville High School's Centerstage Theatre. It kicks off a weekend of Del Shannon Days events, including the Del Shannon Car Cruise on Aug. 12 and the Del Shannon Car Show the following day.

The Del Shannon Show is a tribute concert celebrating early rock ‘n’ roll and the music of a Coopersville native who gained international fame after the 1961 release of "Runaway."

Shannon was born in 1933 and raised in Coopersville as Charles “Chuck” Westover. He graduated with the Coopersville High School Class of 1953.

Shannon had a 30-year career touring internationally and recording other chart toppers, along with writing and producing for several well-known performers. Most notable is his song "I Go To Pieces," which became a hit for Peter and Gordon. Shannon’s popularity remained especially strong in the United Kingdom. 

Shannon was in his late 50s when he died in 1990. He was inducted posthumously into Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

This will be the fourth time since 2011 that Popenhagen is performing the tribute concert in Coopersville during its summer festivities. He says that there is something special about performing and being on the same grounds where Shannon once came to school every day, accompanied by his guitar.

The Coopersville show will feature 11 musicians and back-up singers onstage with Popenhagen.

The concert also commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Del Shannon Memorial Monument at the Coopersville Area Historical Society & Museum. It was funded by family, friends and fans from the U.S. and abroad.

Popenhagen has traveled with this show from coast to coast, and is currently working with agents to tour England and Australia in the coming year.

“James has taken great care to recreate the sound and energy of stage performances once given by Del himself,” according to Lil Budzynski, who is organizing the concert with her husband, Jim. “The show is the only tribute concert endorsed by Del's family, most of whom will be coming from great distances to attend the Coopersville concert. Del's fans and friends are even coming from beyond the U.S. to be in Coopersville, too. One fan is actually traveling from Australia.”

For more information or for tickets, visit coopersvillehistoricalmuseum.org, or call Jim and Lil Budzynski at 616-997-6978 or 616-997-4573, or contact them by email at budphoto@allcom.net.

For more information on Del Shannon, visit delshannon.com or www.michiganrockandrolllegends.com/mrrl-hall-of-fame/73-del-shannon.

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