Standing a little over five feet in height, Frederick Earl Long (aka Shorty Long) was one of the funkiest singers to record at Motown Records. Long was born on May 20, 1940, in Birmingham, AL. While growing up he learned about music from people like Alvin "Shine" Robinson and W.C. Handy. The multi-talented singer could play piano, organ, drums, guitar, trumpet, harmonica, and was probably an excellent hand clapper. In Birmingham he worked as a DJ, toured with the Ink Spots, and gigged at club called Old Stables. In 1959, Long moved to Detroit, caught the ear of Harvey Fuqua, and cut two singles for Fuqua's Tri-Phi label. "I'll Be Here," backed with "Bad Willie," came out in 1962 and went unnoticed; the follow-up, "Too Smart," released later in the year, stiffed as well. Fuqua, tired of fighting with distributors and doing all the things it takes to run a label, decided to sell his operation to Berry Gordy, and Shorty Long became a Motown artist.