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Guitar Shorty


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There are two artists that go by the name ‘Guitar Shorty’. Both are blues artists and both of their biographies are below beginning with the more popular (electric guitar bluesman) David Kearney and then followed by the lesser known (acoustic guitar bluesman) John Henry Fortescue.

I. Guitar Shorty, born David Kearney on September 8, 1939, is an American blues guitarist. Due to both his musical talents and performing stage antics such as somersaults and back flips, he has been considered “among the leading live acts on the blues scene.”

Shorty was born in Houston, Texas but grew up mainly in Kissimmee, Florida where be began playing the guitar at an early age and began heading a band not long after. During his time in Tampa Bay, Florida, he received his nickname, Guitar Shorty, when it mysteriously showed up on the marquee of the club he was playing as The Walter Johnson Band featuring Guitar Shorty. He steadily began to garner accolades from his peers and, at the age of 16, he joined the Ray Charles Band for a year. He then recorded his first single in 1957, “You Don’t Treat Me Right”, under the direction of Willie Dixon when Dixon saw him playing with the Walter Johnson orchestra. Eventually, he would join Guitar Slim’s band and move to New Orleans, Louisiana.

While in New Orleans, Shorty also fronted his own band which played regularly at the Dew Drop Inn where he was joined by special guests such as T Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner and Little Richard.


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  • JR1391

    awesome music

    25 Mar 3:23pm Reply
  • evanisreallyok

    Seen him twice and hope to see him again.

    6 Apr 2014 Reply
  • Assedor

    To the sound of this player do not have to get used to. We are listening to such work since our youth.

    16 Jun 2013 Reply
  • naturefirst

    simply brilliant

    3 Feb 2013 Reply
  • shuttleruss

    Was at a conference in Santa Fe for a few days around 2005 and saw that Shorty was playing a gig in some community center in a small town about 30-40 minutes drive from my hotel. I had several of his albums and dug his sound. I decided to go because I heard he was quite the live act too. It was an actual town community center...not that big. There were about 70 or so people there and some with kids in tow. Shorty had just been pretty sick and had just got out of the hospital. But he and his band played about two hours, then took a break, and then played for two hours more. Hands down the best blues guitarist I have ever seen (and I have seen quite a few stellar players including BB, Robert Cray, etc...). Damn that was a stellar show...

    1 Jun 2012 Reply
  • Assedor

    His sound even now amaze an incredible freedom.

    15 Jun 2011 Reply
  • EduardoCamargo

    Man, this guy was inspiration for Hendrix!

    6 Feb 2011 Reply
  • jestem_wojtek

    he's a real blues-rocker :)

    15 Sep 2010 Reply
  • Saveall

    Vote for a new pic...the current one sux. Thanks!

    27 Feb 2010 Reply
  • barby63

    Duro e puro come un rocker!

    7 Feb 2009 Reply
  • malkeschmied


    16 Dec 2008 Reply

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