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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

Albums by
Guitar Shorty

Top Songs by
Guitar Shorty

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

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