(CBS 11) – Frederick Earl “Shorty” Long (born May 20, 1940) was an R&B singer/songwriter/producer during the 1960s.

From Birmingham, Alabama, he signed with Berry Gordy’s Motown Records in 1963.

He first released “Devil With A Blue Dress On” in 1964 which later became a big hit for Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels in 1966.

His biggest hit was “Here Comes The Judge” in 1968 which hit #8 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the R&B charts. It became a comic act of sorts on NBC’s Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In about a fictional judge called “Pigmeat Markham.”

Today’s song was released in between these two hits, and it is a lost song of the 60s.

“Function At The Junction” was released between 1966-1968 on Motown’s Soul label, the one used for more blues-based artists. I first “discovered” the song on an air check of KHJ/Los Angeles personality Frank Terry, their midday personality in the mid-60s. It didn’t make the Billboard Top 40 but it is a great song. Written and produced by Long and Eddie Holland, running around 2:48, the lyrics go like this:

I’m getting ready for the function at the junction
And baby you’d better come on right now
Because everybody’s gonna be there
We got people comin’ from everywhere

We got Ling Ting Tong from China
Long Tall Sally from Carolina
We got 007, the private eye,
And he’s bringin’ all the guys from “I Spy”

Come one, come all, we gonna have a ball
down at the function at the junction
And baby you’d better come on right now

Long passed away (along with a friend) on June 29, 1969 in a boating accident on the Detroit River. Stevie Wonder played the harmonica at his funeral, then placed it on his coffin as a tribute to Long. Motown also released his final album shortly after his death.