Slacker Logo


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
Read More Read Less

Stations Featuring
Guitar Shorty

    All Blues

    All Blues
    22 songs

    Electric Blues

    Electric Blues
    3 songs

    Modern Blues

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

Artists Related to Guitar Shorty