Shotgun (Junior Walker & the All Stars song)

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Single by Junior Walker & the All Stars
from the album Shotgun
ReleasedFebruary 13, 1965
Format7" single
RecordedHitsville, USA (Studio A), Detroit, Michigan, 1964
LabelSoul Records (Motown)
Songwriter(s)Autry DeWalt
Producer(s)Berry Gordy
Junior Walker & the All Stars singles chronology
"Do the Boomerang"

"Shotgun" is a 1965 single by Junior Walker & the All Stars, which was written and composed by Walker and produced by Berry Gordy Jr. and Lawrence Horn.[1] It reached number one on the U.S. R&B Singles chart for four non-consecutive weeks and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 on the week ending 3 April 1965.[2]

"Shotgun" uses only one chord throughout the entire song -- A-flat seventh. Other songs featuring this same structure (or non-structure) are "Chain of Fools" and "Land of 1000 Dances".[3]


Popular culture[edit]

"Shotgun" was used in Martin Scorsese's debut feature film, Who's That Knocking At My Door? (1967).

The song has been used in the films Misery (1990), Malcolm X (1992), and How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998).

The song was also used as the theme song for "Ain't Nothin' But a Woman". A sketch-comedy segment previously featured on BET's ComicView

It was likewise referenced in Sister Act 2 during the opening number, "The Greatest Medley Ever Told."

The song was performed by Public Enemies in the Norwegian film Hurra for Andersens in 1966. Public Enemies brought "Shotgun" to the seventh position on the Radio Luxembourg's Top 20 Chart. The film Glory Road (2006) by Disney, in the after party.

The song occasionally plays on the radio in the 2016 video game Mafia III.

The song played on the radio at the beginning of episode six of season 2 on the Netflix TV Show Ozark.

Cover versions and later versions[edit]

The song was covered in 1965, by:

The Wailers, with slightly modified lyrics, as a ska song
Sam The Sham and the Pharaohs, on their Wooly Bully album
The Kingsmen, on The Kingsmen On Campus album
The first known video/television appearance of Jimi Hendrix was playing Shotgun as a back up musician in 1965 with Buddy and Stacey. The video is on YouTube.

It was recorded subsequently:

In 1969, by Vanilla Fudge in a heavily psychedelic version, on Near the Beginning
In 1988, by Vanity with Kareem and Dave Koz, for the soundtrack of Action Jackson
In 2001, by saxophonist Richard Elliot, as an instrumental on Crush[6]
In 2006, by Yo La Tengo, on Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics

See also[edit]


  1. ^ White, Adam; Bronson, Fred (1993). The Billboard Book of Number One Rhythm & Blues Hits. New York: Billboard Books:Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 3.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 607.
  3. ^ "Shotgun by Junior Walker & the All-Stars". Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  4. ^ Schlueter, Brad (December 2007). "The Greatest Grooves of R&B and Soul". DRUM! Magazine. Archived from the original on 11 January 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  5. ^ Nicholls, Geoff (September 7, 1992). "Obituary: Larrie Londin". The Independent. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Crush overview".