The record, "Runaround Sue", stormed up the charts, reaching #1 in the US charts in September 1961, and #11 in the UK, where he also toured. For the next single, the record company promoted the A-side, "The Majestic", but it was the B-side, Maresca’s song "The Wanderer", which received the radio plays and again rose swiftly up the charts, reaching #2 in the US charts in December 1961 and #10 in the UK. As a classic oldie, it made the UK top 20 again in 1976. By the end of 1961, Dion was a major star, with a worldwide touring schedule, and an appearance in the Columbia Pictures musical film Twist Around the Clock. He followed up with a string of hit singles – "Lovers Who Wander" (#3), "Little Diane" (#8), "Love Came To Me" (#10) - all making the top 10 in 1962. Several of these were written or co-written by Dion.
He also had successful albums with Runaround Sue and Lovers Who Wander. At the end of 1962, Dion moved from Laurie to Columbia Records, the first rock-and-roll artist ever signed to that label. The first Columbia single, Leiber and Stoller’s "Ruby Baby", was a big hit, reaching #2, and "Donna the Prima Donna" and "Drip Drop" both reached #6 in the charts in late 1963. (Dion also recorded an Italian version of "Donna the Prima Donna" using the identical backup vocals.) His other Columbia releases were less successful, and problems with his addiction and changing public tastes caused him to enter a period of commercial decline. For the next few years, Dion’s music became radically different, moving to more contemplative and mature material. He released several albums essentially as a singer-songwriter, to critical acclaim but moderate sales, moving to the Warner Brothers label in 1969. There followed a one-off live reunion show with the Belmonts at Madison Square Garden in 1972, released on album.
This was followed in 1975 by the album Born To Be With You, produced by Phil Spector. The album was a commercial failure, but has been subsequently praised by such artists as Jason Pierce of Spiritualized and Pete Townshend of The Who. In 1978 Dion released an album drawing on many of his teenage influences, Return of the Wanderer, another critical success and commercial failure. In December 1979 there was a radical spiritual change in Dion, who had become a born-again Christian. Thereafter, his recordings for several years were in a contemporary Christian vein, in which he released a number of albums on the Dayspring label reflecting his evangelical Christian convictions. Singles were successfully released to Christian radio, notably "Still in the Spirit" from his 1985 release entitled Kingdom in the Streets. In 1984 he wins the Dove Award (Christian Music Award) for the album 'I Put Away My Idols'.
He was also nominated for Grammy award, best male Gospel performance, for the same album. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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