“Devil With The Blue Dress” Performed By Shorty Long (1964)

October 1, 2009

Shorty Long

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Shorty Long – Devil With The Blue Dress (1964)

October brings a month of Motown Male vocalists here ot OSML, so lets get right into it.

I couldn’t decide which of my favorite Shorty Long songs to share with you so I played it safe and started with his very FIRST Motown release.

“Devil With The Blue Dress” was super slow and funky! But you probably never heard this original version since it never became a hit.

But if you are a Boomer, I am sure you have heard the famous hit up-tempo cover version by Mitch Ryder that charted #4 Pop on the Billboard charts in 1966. (I surely hope Mr Long and co-writer William “Mickey” Stevenson got their royalties on this one.)

And you Boomers may also remember Shorty’s infamous “Here Comes the Judge” that even the likes of Sammy Davis parodied on “Laugh-In.” ;-)

Frederick “Shorty” Long (about 5 feet tall) was born in Alabama. He sang, played numerous instruments and was a DJ before Harvey Fuqua plucked him for his Tri-Phi Records in Detroit: at Tri-Phi Shorty cut a few great sides. When Berry Gordy purchased Tri-Phi Records — along went Shorty.

From 1964 on, Long recorded at Motown and had a few hits. Motown reluctantly released two albums on Shorty on their Soul label.

Like so many other talented artists at Motown, he never got much attention (spelled PROMOTION). One can only imagine how much greater Motown could have been if every artist that signed on the dotted line was groomed to their maximum potential as The Supremes and Temptations were! It is almost unthinkable how much great music we would have here on earth, isn’t it?

Musically Yours,


Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels hit cover version of Shorty’s original classic.

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Filed under:Devil With The Blue Dress,Magnificent Male Vocalists,Motown/Soul,R&B/Motown,R&B/Soul,Shorty Long,Sixties,William "Mickey" Stevenson & Frederick "Shorty" Long

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DrWinston October 14, 2009 at 5:22 am

didn’t even know about the ’66 cover, wich I’m gonna try to buy anyway… for a dancing night the latter sound like a floorfiller. maybe even too fast…
Great website by the way! promptly added to favs…


2 SonDan October 14, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Hi Dr.Winston,

My pleasure to meet you. Also my pleasure to introduce you the the ’66 cover of “DWTBD.” Growing up on AM radio I probably heard the cover more than the original ;-) . But, as in most cases, the original is the best IMHO. Which do you prefer?

Glad you enjoyed your visit and look forward to seeiing you on the regular.



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