Album: Shotgun (1965)
Charted: 4


  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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.

Comments: 16

  • Bierbelly from Stephens City, VaDefinitely a dance. Dig potatoes, pick tomatoes? Gotta be dance moves.
  • Mononc Stef from MontrealI always thought it reasonable to assume that the Season 6 version of The Cosby Show's theme was an homage to this wonderful song.

    This is one rare 1-chord song that I find extremely pleasant; there's enough diversity in the structure and arrangement for it not to be monotonous, unlike many funk songs.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaI laugh to myself when ever I read a post from a dad on one of the videos of this song. He said he plays it for his daughter's dates lol.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaI have just read that no one is sure who exactly played drums on this song, here are the three guesses (does anyone KNOW, not GUESS) for sure. 1. Benny Benjamin 2. Poistol Allen 3. Larrie Lundin.
  • Chinn from South Bend, InMy uncle Lonnie Woods from South Bend, IN created/played the original origins for that song "Shotgun" , My mother which was his niece was his manager at that time, and was never paid or acknowledge by Motown for his works/creation.
  • Nina from Detroit, MiShotgun was released in 1965 in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. Having grown up in Detroit during guise turbulent times, the lyric "Shoot him before he run" suggests to me a reference to the violence perpetrated against black men during the movement. The writers were cunning enough to intermingle messages of protest in popular music and still have their songs be radio and TV friendly.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 22nd 1965, Junior Walker and the All-Stars performed "Do the Boomerang" on the ABC-TV week-day afternoon program 'Where The Action Is'...
    Five days earlier on July 17th it was at #53 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart and that was also its last day on the chart; it had entered the Top 100 on May 30th, 1965 at #87, five weeks later on July 4th, 1965 it peaked at #36 {for 1 week}...
    See 4th post below, and just like on 'Bandstand' on June 5th they also performed both "Shotgun" and "Do the Boomerang" on 'Where The Action Is'.
  • Jack North from AtlantaI grew up in Detroit in the '50's and '60's, and I always heard the lyric as "do the dirt now." which would apropos for the gun imagery in the rest of the song. I'm not sure the "Shotgun" was a dance. (Although the timeline is about right for the popular dance, the Jerk.) Are we sure this song refers to a dance? (Or is it one of this wonderful coincidences; a the song could have a double meaning?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn 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 from Sauquoit, NyOn 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 from Sauquoit, NyOn 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 from Sauquoit, NyOn 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).
  • Al from Madison, NjA celebration of the second amendment ?
  • Tom from Rockaway, NjIn 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.
  • Lester from New York City, NyVanilla Fudge does a good cover of this song.
  • Jimmie from Pinellas Park, FlThis 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.
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