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

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