The “Shotgun” is a dance. There were many dance crazes in the ’60s, and 2 of them are mentioned in the lyrics: The Jerk (“Do The Jerk, baby”) and The Twine (“It’s Twine Time”).
This was the first hit for Junior Walker & The All Stars, who were signed to the Motown label. Walker, whose real name was Autry DeWalt, was a saxophone player who made his vocal debut on this song. Walker recorded the vocals because the singer who was assigned to the session didn’t show up. He didn’t expect his tracks to make the cut, but the Motown producers liked the sound and left them in.
The sound at the beginning that simulates a shotgun was created by kicking an amplifier. This is explained on The Motown Story: Volume 1. (thanks, Ryan – Chicago, IL
Motown president Berry Gordy produced this track himself.The group had several more hit songs, including “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” and a cover of the Supremes song “Come See About Me.” Walker also played sax on Foreigner’s “Urgent” before his death in 1995.