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Guitar Shorty

Primary Instrument: Guitar

Born: September 8, 1923    

Guitar Shorty

Guitar Shorty was born David William Kearney on September 8, 1939 in Houston, Texas and raised in Kissimmee, Florida by his grandmother. He began playing guitar as a young boy, excited by the sounds of B.B. King, Guitar Slim, T-Bone Walker and Earl Hooker. After a move to Tampa when he was 17, Kearney won a slot as a featured guitarist and vocalist in Walter Johnson's 18-piece orchestra. Being younger-and shorter-than the rest of the band, the club owner bestowed the name Guitar Shorty on him, and it stuck. After a particularly strong performance in Florida, the great Willie Dixon, who was in the audience, approached Shorty about recording. A few weeks later Shorty was in Chicago and, backed by Otis Rush on second guitar, he cut his first single, Irma Lee b/w You Don't Treat Me Right, for Chicago's famed Cobra Records (the first label home for Rush, Magic Sam and Buddy Guy) in 1957....
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Source: James Nadal

  • We the People

    Alligator Records
    2006

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