Johnny Kidd & the Pirates – Shakin’ All Over

This is one of my favorite pre-Beatles UK songs. Great rocker with a cool guitar riff. Johnny’s name was Frederick Heath and he formed his first skiffle group in 1957 called The Five Nutters (great name). He then joined Alan Caddy (guitar), Tony Docherty (rhythm guitar), and Ken McKay (drums) in early 1958 and formed Johnny Kidd & the Pirates who were signed by EMI Records.

Heath went on playing with the Pirates and the New Pirates until he was killed in a car crash on October 7, 1966.

Shakin’ All Over peaked at #1 in the UK charts in 1960. The Who would later do a version on their great live album Live At Leads. The Guess Who did a version that peaked at #1 in Canada and  #22 in the Billboard 100 in 1965.

The bass player Brian Gregg said this about the creation of the song. “Wally Ridley’s (the producer)’s assistant, Peter Sullivan said, ‘We’re going to do the old trad tune, “Yes Sir That’s My Baby”, and you can have the B-side.” The day before the session we were in the Freight Train coffee-bar in Berwick Street and we said, ‘Let’s write any old rubbish’. There was Johnny, the guitarist Alan Caddy and myself. We didn’t have any instruments and we sang the parts to ‘Shakin’ All Over’. We got up early in the morning, had a run through in my front room- not plugged in, and we went to the studio and recorded it. We thought it would be a B-side but Jack Good loved it and pushed it on his new programme, Wham!: And it went straight up the charts.”

From Songfacts

Written by Johnny Kidd, this rocker is about the feeling you get near a great looking girl. It was a huge hit in England, but didn’t make a dent elsewhere until Chad Allen and the Expressions recorded the song in 1965. When their version was released, their label wanted to create some intrigue for the Canadian group and maybe pass them off as a British Invasion band. So, the single was credited to “Guess Who?”, which is what is said on the label. Disc Jockeys thought the group was actually named The Guess Who, and that’s the name that stuck. Their version went to #1 in Canada and hit #22 in the US.

The Guess Who didn’t like their new name, but their record company insisted they keep it, as that’s what every media outlet was calling them. To make things worse, The Who started their rise to fame around the same time, and the groups were often confused with each other. The Guess Who would get requests for “My Generation,” and The Who would be asked to play this song, which they often did: their version can be heard on the 1970 album Live At Leeds

The Swinging Blue Jeans from Liverpool recorded a rockin’ version of this song on their 1964 debut album. 

Clem Cattini’s drum break was added because the song was too short.

Shakin’ All Over

When you move in right up close to me
That’s when I get the shakes all over me
Quivers down my back bone
I’ve got the shakes down the kneebone
Yeah, havin’ the tremors in the thighbone
Shakin’ all over

Just the way you say goodnight to me
Brings that feeling on inside of me
Quivers down my back bone
I’ve got the shivers down the thighbone
Yeah, the tremors in my back bone
Shakin’ all over

Quivers down my back bone
Yeah, I have the shakes in the kneebone
I’ve got the tremors in the back bone
Shakin’ all over

Well, you make me shake and I like it, baby
Well, you make me shake and I like it, baby
Well, you make me shake and I like it, baby

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

5 thoughts on “Johnny Kidd & the Pirates – Shakin’ All Over”

  1. Back in the day, some “experts” claimed that this song was the first original rock and roll song, in that it didn’t have any blues, country or hillbilly roots. Now there’s a debate that could go on forever!

    Liked by 1 person

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