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Guitar Shorty

When he's not turning somersaults, doing backward flips, and standing on his head -- all while playing, of course -- Guitar Shorty is prone to cutting loose with savagely slashing licks on his instrument. Live, he's simply amazing -- and after some lean years, his latter-day albums for Black Top, Evidence, and Alligator have proven that all that energy translates vividly onto tape. Born David Kearney on September 8, 1939, in Houston, TX, he started playing guitar at an early age. His early influences included fellow blues guitar slingers B.B. King, Guitar Slim, T-Bone Walker, and Earl Hooker. By the time he was 17, Kearney was already gigging steadily in Tampa, FL. One night, he was perched on the bandstand when he learned that the mysterious "Guitar Shorty" advertised on the club's marquee was none other than him! His penchant for stage gymnastics was inspired by the flamboyant Guitar Slim, whose wild antics are legendary. In 1957, Shorty cut his debut single, "You Don't Treat Me Right," for Chicago's Cobra Records under Willie Dixon's astute direction. Three superb 45s in 1959 for tiny Pull Records in Los Angeles (notably "Hard Life") rounded out Shorty's discography for quite a while. During the '60s, he married Jimi Hendrix's stepsister and lived in Seattle, where the rock guitar god caught Shorty's act (and presumably learned a thing or two about inciting a throng) whenever he came off the road. Shorty's career had its share of ups and downs -- once he was reduced to competing on Chuck Barris' zany Gong Show, where he copped first prize for delivering "They Call Me Guitar Shorty" while balanced on his noggin. Los Angeles had long since reclaimed Shorty by the time things started to blossom anew with the 1991 album My Way or the Highway for the British JSP logo (with guitarist Otis Grand in support). From there, Black Top signed Shorty; 1993's dazzling Topsy Turvy, 1995's Get Wise to Yourself, and 1998's Roll Over, Baby were the head-over-heels results. In 2001, the appropriately titled I Go Wild was released on the Evidence label, proving that Guitar Shorty had no intentions of slowing down, as he clearly remained a master showman and lively blues guitarist. Watch Your Back appeared in spring 2004. A single-disc overview of his career, The Best of Guitar Shorty, appeared from Shout! Factory in 2006, as well as a new studio album, We the People, from Alligator Records. A second Alligator release, Bare Knuckle, appeared early in 2010. ~ Bill Dahl & Al Campbell
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Stations Featuring
Guitar Shorty

    All Blues

    All Blues
    22 songs

    Modern Blues

    Modern Blues
    3 songs

    Electric Blues

    Electric Blues
    3 songs

    New Orleans Sounds

    New Orleans Sounds
    1 song

Albums by
Guitar Shorty

Top Songs by
Guitar Shorty

  1.   Song
  2.   A Little Less Conversation
  3.   Let My Guitar Do the Talking
  4.   We the People
  5.   Fine Cadillac
  6.   The Thrill Is Gone
  7.   I Got Your Number
  8.   Hot and Saucy, Short and Grand by Guitar Shorty & The Otis Grand Blues Band
  9.   Kick Out by Guitar Shorty & The Otis Grand Blues Band
  10.   You Gave Me the Blues Baby by Guitar Shorty & The Otis Grand Blues Band
  11.   No Educated Woman by Guitar Shorty & The Otis Grand Blues Band
  12.   It's Too Late by Otis Grand Band
  13.   My Way or the Highway by Guitar Shorty & The Otis Grand Blues Band
  14.   Red Hot Mama by Guitar Shorty & The Otis Grand Blues Band
  15.   Can't Get Enough
  16.   Shorty Jumps In by Guitar Shorty & The Otis Grand Blues Band
  17.   Sonic Boom
  18.   Cost of Livin'
  19.   It Ain't the Fall That Kills You
  20.   Blues in My Blood
  21.   A Hurt So Old
  22.   Who Needs It?
  23.   What Good Is Life?
  24.   Temporary Man
  25.   Runaway Train
  26.   Down That Road Again
  27.   We Don't Give a Shit & The Blues Is Allright
  28.   Shorty Jumps In
  29.   Bad Memory
  30.   Hey Joe
  31.   Down Thru' The Years
  32.   Whole Lot of Loving
  33.   Get Off
  34.   Please Mr. President
  35.   Introduction/The Blues Is All Right
  36.   Slow Burn
  37.   Shorty's Theme, No. 2
  38.   Billie Jean Blues
  39.   Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
  40.   Too Late
  41.   Hard Life
  42.   Never Make a Move Too Soon
  43.   Hard Life Blues
  44.   Shorty's Theme, Pt. 2
  45.   Intro Medley: We Don't Give a Shit / The Blues Is Alright
  46.   Shorty's Theme (Part 2)
  47.   Shorty's Theme (Part 1)
  48.   True Lies
  49.   Neverland
  50.   Betrayed
  51.   Get Busy
  52.   I'm Gonna Leave You
  53.   You Gave Me the Blues, Baby by Otis Grand
  54.   Kick Out
  55.   You Don't Treat Me Right
  56.   Irma Lee
  57.   Hot and Saucy, Short and Grand by Otis Grand
  58.   Shorty's Theme
  59.   Bump the Donkey
  60.   How Come My Dog Don't Bark (When You Come Around)
  61.   How Blue Can You Get?
  62.   History of Jody
  63.   Red Hot Mama
  64.   Whole Lotta' Love
  65.   Shorty's Theme, Pt. 1
  66.   History of Judy
  67.   Ways of a Man
  68.   Old Time Sake
  69.   What She Don't Know
  70.   History of Jody, Don't Give a Shit Blues
  71.   Whole Lot
  72.   How Came My Dog Don't Bark When You Come 'Round
  73.   Right Tool for the Job
  74.   Old School
  75.   Story of My Life
  76.   Whole Lot of Lovin Waitin for You
  77.   Never Make Your Move Too Soon
  78.   Texas Women
  79.   Too Hard to Love You
  80.   I've Been Working
  81.   The Sting

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