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

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