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Shotgun by Junior Walker & the All-Stars

Album: ShotgunReleased: 1965Charted:
  • The "Shotgun" is a dance. There were many dance crazes in the '60s, and 2 of them are mentioned in the lyrics: The Jerk ("Do The Jerk, baby") and The Twine ("It's Twine Time").
  • This was the first hit for Junior Walker & The All Stars, who were signed to the Motown label. Walker, whose real name was Autry DeWalt, was a saxophone player who made his vocal debut on this song. Walker recorded the vocals because the singer who was assigned to the session didn't show up. He didn't expect his tracks to make the cut, but the Motown producers liked the sound and left them in.
  • The sound at the beginning that simulates a shotgun was created by kicking an amplifier. This is explained on The Motown Story: Volume 1. (thanks, Ryan - Chicago, IL)
  • Motown president Berry Gordy produced this track himself.
  • The group had several more hit songs, including "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)" and a cover of the Supremes song "Come See About Me." Walker also played sax on Foreigner's "Urgent" before his death in 1995.
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Comments: 8

On October 9th 1965, Jr. Walker and the All-Stars performed "Shotgun" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!' {See 2nd post below}...
And on the same broadcast the group performed "Shake and Fingerpop"; forty-one days earlier on August 29th, 1965 it peaked at #29 {for 2 weeks}...
R.I.P. Jimmy O'Neill {Shindig's host, 1940 - 2013}.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
On July 22nd 1965, Junior Walker and the All-Stars performed "Shotgun" on Dick Clark's other ABC-TV program 'Where The Action Is'...
(See next post below).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
On June 5th 1965, Junior Walker and the All-Stars performed "Shotgun" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
Four months earlier on February 7th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; and on March 28th it peaked at #4 (for 2 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
And on March 7th it reached #1 (for 4 non-consecutive weeks) on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart (after three weeks at #1 "Got to Get You Off My Mind" by Solomon Burke became #1 for one week, then "Shotgun" regained the top spot for one more week)...
On the same 'Bandstand' show the group performed "Do The Boomerang"; it entered the Top 100 one week earlier on May 30th and eventually peaked at #36...
R.I.P. Mr. Walker, born Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr., 1931 - 1995.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
On February 2nd 1969, Vanilla Fudge performed "Shotgun" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
Exactly one month later on March 2nd it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart for a five week stay, peaking at #68...
Jr. Walker & the All-Stars released the original version in 1965; their version reached #4 on the Top 100...
The foursome had five records make the Top 100; their biggest hit was a covered version of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hanging On", on August 25th, 1968 it peaked at #6 (for week).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
A celebration of the second amendment ?Al - Madison, Nj
In the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown(about the Funk Brothers who backed up most of the Motown hits), the opening "shotgun blast" was created by the guitar player kicking a reverb amp.Tom - Rockaway, Nj
Vanilla Fudge does a good cover of this song.Lester - New York City, Ny
This is one of my all-time favorite songs. I played this song in a band (Mt. Airy, NC) when it came out.

The song stays in one chord (and one key) throughout. It's very easy for beginning guitarists to play!

I've used this same idea, of playing in one chord, when composing some of my orignal songs.
Jimmie - Pinellas Park, Fl