Welcome to Shortistory

Welcome to shortistory.com, a mixture of my name and my passion, Shortis and history respectively.

I’m a musician, songwriter and researcher, based in Canberra. With singer Moya Simpson I’m half of cabaret act Shortis and Simpson, and we do a series of performances throughout each year that bring together music, comedy, politics and history.

So that my research and quirky self-taught view of history is available to a wider audience I am writing up past shows, as e-Essays on this website.

So far on this site you will find:

Between 2008 and 2016, we appeared at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra each year, accompanying the latest release of Australian Cabinet Records. In a nondescript room, grandly entitled The Menzies Room, our half-hour shows explored the music, the politics, the general news stories and the trends of the relevant years. We covered the years 1977-1991, so read it all and you will get a quick quirky history of that time.

50 Years Ago Today, performed in 2017 at the Cobargo Folk Festival, and at the Queanbeyan Bicentennial Hall, with band and choir, to mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Happy Little Copyrights, performed at the National Folk Festival, and at The Carrington Inn, Bungendore, in 2019, a tribute to the noble art of song stealing.

How Good Is 2019!– a look at the politics of 2019.

I hope you enjoy shortistory.com and watch out for many more essays coming soon.

John Shortis
June 2020