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Gary Allen - Runaway
Transcript of Gary Allen - Runaway
struggling singer-songwriter selling cars until slipping
a cassette of his music into the glove compartment of a
wealthy couple who financed his move to Nashville. Gary Allan Herzberg was born and raised in La Mirada, California,to Harley and Mary Herzberg. To ensure that the family would focus on music, Allan's mother insisted that the family's guitars would always remain visible in the home. At age thirteen, Allan began playing in honky tonks with his father.Two years later, he was offered his first recording contract, from A&M Records, but rejected the deal. His parents wanted him to finish his education and his father felt that Allan had yet to develop his own distinctive style. In the meantime, Allan took a job selling cars. He left a demo tape in the glove box of a car purchased by a wealthy couple. When the couple discovered that he was the singer, they wrote him a check for $12,000.This independent funding allowed Allan to go to Nashville to record some of the songs that were on that early demo tape with Byron Hill as producer. After their first recording session for Big Top Records in New York City had ended in failure, their manager Ollie McLaughlin persuaded them to rewrite and re-record an earlier song they had written, "Little Runaway", to highlight Crook's unique instrumental sound. On January 24, 1961, they recorded "Runaway" at the Bell Sound recording studios, with Harry Balk as producer, Fred Weinberg as audio engineer and also session musician on several sections- session musician Al Caiola on guitar, and Crook playing the central Musitron break. After recording in A minor, producer Balk sped up the recording to pitch just below a B-flat minor. "Runaway" was released in February 1961 and was immediately successful. In April, Shannon appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand helping to catapult it to the number one spot on the Billboard charts where it remained for four weeks. Two months later, it also reached number one in the UK. On the R&B charts, "Runaway" peaked at number three. The song was #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Chart in 1961. Despite his commitment to finishing school, Allan reflects that he was rarely alert in class. "I played the bars at night, I was half asleep when I got to school. I thought sleep was what you did when you got to school."