"Shakin' All Over" is a song originally performed by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates.[1] It was written by leader Johnny Kidd, and his original recording reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1960.[2] Kidd's recording was not a hit outside of Europe. In other parts of the world the song is better known by recordings of other artists.

"Shakin' All Over"
Single by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates
B-side"Yes Sir, That's My Baby" (Donaldson/Kahn)
Released1960 (UK)
RecordedAbbey Road, 13 May 1960 (9 June 1959 "Yes, Sir")
GenreRhythm and blues, rock and roll
LabelHMV POP 753 (UK)[1]
Songwriter(s)Johnny Kidd, Guy Robinson[1]
Producer(s)Walter Ridley[1]
Johnny Kidd & the Pirates singles chronology
"You Got What It Takes"
"Shakin' All Over"

In 1964, a band from Plattsburgh, New York called the Twiliters recorded a live version but it did not chart. A classic version by Chad Allan and the Expressions, also known as The Guess Who, was recorded in December 1964 and released in the spring of 1965, and it reached #1 in Canada,[3] #22 in the US and #27 in Australia.

Normie Rowe's 1965 version reached #1 in Australia as a double A-side with "Que Sera Sera".


Johnny Kidd versionEdit

The musicians who performed on the recording were Johnny Kidd (vocals), Alan Caddy (guitar), Brian Gregg (bass), Clem Cattini (drums) and Joe Moretti (lead guitar). Kidd was quoted as saying:

When I was going round with a bunch of lads and we happened to see a girl who was a real sizzler, we used to say that she gave us 'quivers down the membranes'. It was a standard saying with us referring to any attractive girl. I can honestly say that it was this more than anything that inspired me to write "Shakin' All Over".[4]

The Twiliters versionEdit

The Twiliters, a band from Plattsburgh, New York, recorded "Shakin' All Over" live, in early 1964, before a crowd at a local skating rink called "Rollerland".[5] Bill Kennedy, the leader of the group, had been stationed in Germany in the Air Force and had heard several songs from the UK that he wanted to record. It was released on Empire Records E-4 and gained some regional success. On the flip side was a song called "Rollerland" that was recorded by at least two other acts.

The Guess Who versionEdit

The song gained more fame after The Guess Who recorded it in December 1964 and released it in 1965, and it became a #1 hit in Canada. This version was also a #22 hit in the United States.[6] At this time the band was actually named Chad Allan and the Expressions, but the record label (Quality Records) credited the "Guess Who?" in an attempt to disguise the fact that the group was Canadian. The label thought the record would be better received if they were thought to be a British Invasion act. The actual name was revealed a few months later, but radio DJs continued to announce the artist as "Guess Who?". This prompted a name-change to The Guess Who.

Normie Rowe versionEdit

The Guess Who's version also became a #27 hit in Australia, but another version became a national #1 hit in late 1965 for Normie Rowe. Rowe's version (backed by "Que Sera Sera") was one of the biggest-selling singles of the decade in that country. Rowe had recorded his take on the song before The Guess Who, and based his release on a 1962 version by Johnny Chester.

The Who versionEdit

"Shakin' All Over"
Song by the Who
from the album Live at Leeds
Released16 May 1970
Recorded14 February 1970
GenreHard rock
Songwriter(s)Johnny Kidd

The song has been performed many times by The Who, starting in the 1960s, (sometimes in a medley with "Spoonful"). The best known performances were at Woodstock in 1969 and on Live at Leeds in 1970. In Randy Bachman's autobiography, he says that when he met Who bass player John Entwistle, he was told that people constantly got The Who and The Guess Who mixed up. Tired of being yelled at for not playing the song, the Who started playing it just to keep the crowd happy. Bachman responded that the Guess Who had the same reasons for playing "My Generation". Entwistle, a fan of 1950s and 1960s rock and roll and rockabilly music, also performed the song with his solo band and incorporated a bass solo into the middle of the song, accompanied only by his drummer Steve Luongo.

References in popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 52–3. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  2. ^ Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, "Shakin' All Over", Chart Position, Retrieved March 5, 2015
  3. ^ The Guess Who, "Shakin' All Over" Canadian Chart Position, Retrieved March 5, 2015
  4. ^ Einarson, John (January 22, 2017). "Record company's gimmick launched Guess Who's career". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  5. ^ "Home". Twiliters.com. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
  6. ^ The Guess Who, "Shakin' All Over", U.S. Chart Position, Retrieved March 5, 2015

External linksEdit