Del Shannon had an amazing 1961, thanks to such landmark hits as “Runaway” and “Hats Off To Larry.” 1962 was pretty great for him internationally too, but if his chart showings back at home in the US were disappointing that year, he ended on a real upswing. Another of Del’s classic Big Top singles, “Little Town Flirt,”entered the Hot 100 just in time for the holidays, on the December 22 chart.
Written by the Michigan-born singer himself with Maron McKenzie, “Little Town Flirt” was another great vehicle for Shannon’s trademark falsetto. Indeed, the following year it would lend its title to his next album. The single only entered the Billboard chart at No.97, and given that his two previous releases (“Cry Myself To Sleep” and “The Swiss Maid”) had only reached Nos.99 and 64 respectively, that offered no great cause for optimism.
But this time it was different. “The lad’s back with another solid sounding side,” proclaimed Billboard. “His voice is smartly double-tracked and the vocal is handled brightly against an effective girls’ chorus. Flip is ‘The Wamboo.’” “Flirt” climbed to No.81 and then, after crawling to 78, it took off. The song entered the Top 40 towards the end of January 1963 and came to rest, in late February, at No.12.
Listen to uDiscover Music’s official Del Shannon Best Of playlist.
By then, it was enjoying its peak week of No.4 in the United Kingdom, where Shannon was a firm favorite. Furthermore, the single also reached No.1 in Ireland and Australia, and was Top 10 in Canada and New Zealand. Del continued to enjoy greater acclaim in the UK with his next single “Two Kinds Of Teardrops,” which only reached No.50 in the US but hit No.5 across the Atlantic.
Buy or stream “Little Town Flirt” on Runaway: The Very Best of Del Shannon.