Legendary Michigan Songs

42.) Shotgun - Jr. Walker & The All Stars

Artist Name: Jr. Walker & The All Stars
Year Inducted: 2010

 “Shotgun”  (A. DeWalt) – Jr. Walker & The All Stars;  Soul label,  # 1 Billboard R&B, # 4 Billboard Hot 100 - 1965.  Inducted in 2010.

Jr. Walker & The All Stars were playing the El Grotto nightclub in Battle Creek, Michigan, when they got the inspiration for what would become their biggest hit on Berry Gordy’s Soul label, a new Motown subsidiary.

One night at the club, Walker became intrigued by a dance where the participants were employing moves that imitated shooting a gun. When he asked one of the girls on the dance floor what it was called, she said it was the ‘shotgun’ and that he should write a tune for it.

In 1964, Motown was still a small enough company that an artist could call Berry Gordy directly to discuss a recording. After Walker wrote “Shotgun”, he called Gordy and told him he had written a new dance tune. Berry like the idea and had the band drive over to Detroit to record it in late 1964.

Jr. Walker was reluctantly pressed into doing the lead vocal when the original singer failed to show up for the session. “Shotgun” was an immediate hit when it was released in early 1965. The song spent four weeks at # 1 on the R&B charts peaked at # 4 on the Hot 100. Jr. Walker would sing the lead vocals on all of The All Stars’ charting hits from that point onward.

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnhI_ECOAK4