Oral History Information
Guitar Shorty was born in Houston with the name David Kearney, but found fame with his nickname in the blues world beginning in the 1950s. He grew up in Florida, where he began playing gigs as a teenager. After working with the Ray Charles band and Walter Johnson, Shorty released his first recording in 1957 with a song called “You Don’t Treat Me Right.” A large part of his education as a musician came when he worked at the Dew Drop Inn in New Orleans as he played a wide variety of musical styles for artists such as Little Richard and T-Bone Walker. Later in his career Shorty began a relationship with Alligator Records, which released several of his albums including Bare Knuckle in 2010.