Reference Entry

Shannon, Del

in American National Biography Online


Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697

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singer, songwriter, and performer, was born Charles Weedon Westover in Coopersville, Michigan. Shannon began learning the guitar and singing at the age of fourteen, profoundly influenced by the lonesome, heart-rending balladry of Hank Williams. Having grown up in an agrarian Christian town, although his own family neither farmed nor attended church, Shannon felt like an outsider and feverishly practiced playing so that he could make a home for himself. Upon graduating from high school in 1957, he joined the army and became involved in musical productions while stationed in Germany. In 1958 he married Shirley (maiden name unknown); they had three children before they divorced in 1985.

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