31 October 1923
Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States
25 October 1991 (aged 67)
1) Frederick Earl "Shorty" Long (May 20, 1940 – June 29, 1969) was an African-American soul singer, songwriter, and record producer for Motown's Soul Records imprint. He was a native of Birmingham, Alabama, United States.
Long came to Motown in 1963 from the Tri-Phi/Harvey label, owned by Berry Gordy, Jr.'s sister, Gwen, and her husband, Harvey Fuqua. His first release, 1964's "Devil With The Blue Dress" was the first recording issued on Motown's Soul label, a subsidiary designed for more blues-based artists such as Long. While this song never charted nationally, the song was later covered and made a hit by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. His 1966 single "Function At The Junction" was his first popular hit, reaching #42 on the national R&B charts. Other single releases included "It's A Crying Shame" (1964), "Chantilly Lace" (1967), and "Night Fo' Last" (1968).
Long's biggest hit was "Here Comes The Judge" in 1968, which reached number-four on the R&B charts and number-eight on the pop charts. The song was inspired by a comic act, from "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in", about a judge by Pigmeat Markham, whose own "Here Comes The Judge" (a totally different song) charted two weeks after Long's did in June 1968, and became a Top 20 hit. Long's 1969 singles included "I Had A Dream" and "A Whiter Shade Of Pale". He released one album during his lifetime, 1968's Here Comes the Judge.
Long played many instruments, including piano, organ, drums, harmonica, and trumpet. He acted as an MC for many of the Motortown Revue shows and tours, and co-wrote several of his tunes ("Devil With The Blue Dress," "Function At The Junction," and "Here Comes The Judge."). Long was the only Motown artist besides Smokey Robinson who was allowed to produce his own recordings in the 1960s. Marvin Gaye, in David Ritz's biography Divided Soul: The Life & Times of Marvin Gaye,, described Shorty Long as "this beautiful cat who had two hits, and then got ignored by Motown." Gaye claimed he "fought for guys like Shorty" while at Motown, since no one ever pushed for these artists. When Holland-Dozier-Holland came to Gaye with a tune, he stated, "Why are you going to produce me? Why don't you produce Shorty Long?"
Shorty Long died on June 29, 1969 in a boating accident on the Detroit River in Michigan. Stevie Wonder played the harmonica at his burial, and placed it on his casket afterwards. Motown issued Long's final album, The Prime of Shorty Long, shortly after his passing.
2) Shorty Long is an east-coast rapper. Bronx, N.Y. native originally known as 'Shorty Longstroke,' Shorty was discovered by Lord Finesse in the early 1990s and given his first taste of wax in 1994 with the single "Shorty's Doin'" which Finesse produced. Shorty soon fell out of favor with Finesse, and although he managed to release a few more independently-produced tracks, the call of obscurity soon beckoned.
Artist descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.