Shakes All Over Me

‘Shakin’ All Over’ was written by Frederick Albert Heath who worked under the stage name of Johnny Kidd and it was originally performed by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates.  This recording reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1960.  Kidd’s recording was not a hit outside of Europe and in other parts of the world the song is better known from recordings by other artists.  This song is about the feeling you get when you are near a great looking girl.  Kidd said that he was out with his buddies and they happened to see a girl who was a real sizzler, so they said that she gave us ‘quivers down the membranes’.  It was a standard saying with them referring to any attractive girl and that became the inspiration for this song.

Kidd’s hit song came by chance as his producer Wally Ridley and the assistant producer Peter Sullivan on the HMV label wanted them to record the old traditional tune, ‘Yes Sir That’s My Baby’ which was written by Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson in 1925 and they said that Johnny Kidd could have the B-side to do whatever he wanted, like they’d been able to on the last few singles.  The day before the session Johnny, guitarist Alan Caddy and bass player Brian Gregg figured that they would write any old rubbish, or maybe try to do something like their first song ‘Please Don’t Touch’ which was written by Kidd and Guy Robinson.  They went to the studio and recorded ‘Shakin’ All Over’ thinking it would be a B-side, but the record company quickly realized that ‘Shakin’ All Over’ should be what they should push, so they flipped the single.  The Pirates appeared on Wham!, the latest Jack Good TV show, and he loved it and the record charted immediately.  When it made #1, it became the first real proof to British listeners that British people could make rock and roll every bit as good as the Americans.  The Scottish guitarist Joe Moretti played on this song.

The Guess Who had previously been known as “Chad Allan and the Expressions” prior to the release of ‘Shakin’ All Over’, but the group’s Canadian label (Quality Records) issued the record as by “Guess Who?”, in an attempt to imply that the record might be by a British Invasion act, perhaps even The Beatles.  Disc Jockeys thought the group was actually named The Guess Who, and that’s the name that stuck, and making things worse, The Who started their rise to fame around the same time, and the groups were often confused with each other, but they changed their name to The Guess Who, and went on to a long Top 40 career.

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 quivers 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

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 100 where this week’s theme is “over” from the 1967 Doors song ‘When the Music’s Over’.

12 thoughts on “Shakes All Over Me

    1. Thanks Paula. I took over the MM Music challenge when they were looking for a new host and I took over Song Lyric Sunday from Helen Vahdati when she became ill and now this one from you, which I think will be really fun.

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  1. Love this song….I read about it back in the 80s when I read about the Who but didn’t hear it until a decade later…

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