Guitar Crusher, I’m happy to report, is still very vital* and, judging from his Facebook posts, appears to be based in Germany, where he performs much of the time. [*Facebook post from September 2020 informs us, sadly, that “Sidney ‘Guitar Crusher’ Selby didn’t recover after an operation on his spine in June and passed away in his sleep Wednesday morning September 23rd 2020.”]
I first learned of Guitar Crusher by browsing the index of Ruppli’s King Labels discography, where I was immediately taken with his name. King Records’ Syd Nathan would initially lease a set of four Guitar Crusher recordings (“with orchestra”) from another label and release them as two 45s on the Bethlehem imprint in late 1962, early 1963.
But then, Ruppli’s discography states that Guitar Crusher – intriguingly – made four recordings at King’s Cincinnati studios on April 6, 1963 that were then released as two King singles.
Guitar Crusher’s next release would be on almighty Columbia in 1967 with – get this – Sire Records co-founders, Richard Gottehrer and Seymour Stein, jointly producing the 45 (and writing the flip side).
1969 saw the release of “Since My Baby Hit the Numbers” — but only in Europe. The A-side would be a collaboration with the Jimmy Spruill Orchestra — love the jaunty horns that echo through the fadeout of this brief blast of rocking blues:
“Since My Baby Hit the Numbers” + “Hambone Blues” Guitar Crusher 1969
Guitar Crusher would re-engage musically in the 1990s after sitting out much of the 1970s & 80s. Ten Years After’s Alvin Lee and Guitar Crusher, for instance, would jointly release an album, 1995’s Message to Man. Check Guitar Crusher’s website for tour info & music.
Click here for the trailer to the recent Guitar Crusher documentary.