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Random information on the term “Shifty”:
John Willie “Shifty” Henry (4 October 1921 – 30 November 1958) was an American musician, most noted as a double bass and bass guitar player, and blues songwriter. He also played flute, violin, viola, saxophone, and oboe and was in demand as a session musician and arranger in Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s. He was also active in Los Angeles’ live jazz scene on Central Avenue.
Born in Edna, Texas, Henry received a degree in music from the Prairie View A&M University near Houston, Texas. He played center on the football team, and the football coach gave him his nickname for his speed and agility. He generally performed and recorded as Shifty Henry, but he used a number of transparent pseudonyms for songwriting and producing, including Baron Von Shifte, Esq., Shifte Henri, Shifte’ Henre, S. Henry, and Shifti Henri.
His best known song is “Let Me Go Home, Whiskey”, which was a hit in the early 1950s for Amos Milburn, was later revived by Asleep at the Wheel, and later performed by Jerre Maynard and his Greazy Gravy Blues Band. Another Henry song, “Hypin’ Women Blues”, recorded in 1945 for the Enterprise label, later recorded by T-Bone Walker in 1947 for the Black & White label was sampled by DJ Mr. Scruff for his song “Get a Move On”, which was used in several TV commercials. This led to a revival of interest in Henry’s compositions.