Pee Wee Crayton

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Pee Wee Crayton
Birth name Connie Curtis Crayton
Born (1914-12-18)December 18, 1914
Rockdale, Texas, United States
Died June 25, 1985(1985-06-25) (aged 70)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Rhythm and blues, blues
Occupations Guitarist, singer
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1940s–1985
Labels Various

Connie Curtis Crayton (December 18, 1914 – June 25, 1985),[1] known as Pee Wee Crayton, was an American R&B and blues guitarist and singer.

Career[edit]

Born in Rockdale, Texas, United States,[2] Crayton began playing guitar seriously after moving to California in 1935, later settling in San Francisco.[3] While there he absorbed the music of T-Bone Walker, but developed his own unique approach. His aggressive playing contrasted with his smooth vocal style, and was copied by many later blues guitarists.

In 1948 he signed a recording contract with Modern Records.[3] One of his first recordings was the instrumental, "Blues After Hours", which reached #1 in the Billboard R&B chart late that year.[3] Its B-side, the pop ballad "I'm Still in Love With You", and the quicker "Texas Hop", are good examples of his work.[4]

He went on to record for many other record labels in the 1950s including Imperial in New Orleans, Louisiana, Vee-Jay in Chicago and Jamie in Philadelphia. It is thought he was the first blues guitarist to use a Fender Stratocaster, given to him by Leo Fender. His album Things I Used To Do was released by Vanguard Records in 1971. He continued to tour and record in the following years.[3]

A longtime resident of Los Angeles, California, Crayton died there of a heart attack in 1985,[1] and was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery.

Original 10" shellac (78rpm) and 7" vinyl (45rpm) releases[edit]

  • Four Star 1304 After Hours' Boogie/Why Did You Go (1947; rel. 1949)
  • Gru-V-Tone 217 Don't Ever Fall In Love/Pee Wee Special (1947; rel. 1949)
  • Modern 20-624 Blues After Hours/I'm Still In Love With You (1948)
  • Modern 20-643 Texas Hop/Central Avenue Blues (1948)
  • Modern 20-657 Boogie Woogie Basement/Boogie Woogie Upstairs (1949) note: billed as... Al "Cake" Wichard Trio Featuring Pee Wee Crayton On Guitar
  • Modern 20-658 When Darkness Falls/Rock Island Blues (1949)
  • Modern 20-675 The Bop Hop/I Love You So (1949)
  • Modern 20-707 Long After Hours/Brand New Woman (1949)
  • Modern 20-719 Old Fashioned Baby/Bounce Pee Wee (1949)
  • Modern 20-732 Please Come Back/Rockin' The Blues (1950)
  • Modern 20-742 Some Rainy Day/Huckle Boogie (1950)
  • Modern 20-763 Answer To Blues After Hours/Louella Brown (1950)
  • Modern 20-774 Good Little Woman/Dedicating The Blues (1950)
  • Modern 20-796 Change Your Way Of Lovin'/Tired Of Travelin' (1951)
  • Modern 20-816 Poppa Stoppa/Thinkin' Of You (1951)
  • Aladdin 3112 When It Rains, It Pours/Daybreak (1951)
  • Modern 20-892 Cool Evening/Have You Lost Your Love For Me (1952)
  • RIH (Recorded In Hollywood) 408 Pappy's Blues/Crying And Walking (1953)
  • RIH (Recorded In Hollywood) 426 Baby, Pat The Floor/I'm Your Prisoner (1953)
  • Hollywood 1055 Steppin' Out/Hey Little Dreamboat (1953)
  • Imperial 5288 Do Unto Others/Every Dog Has His Day (1954)
  • Imperial 5297 Wino-O/Hurry, Hurry (1954)
  • Imperial 5321 I Need Your Love/You Know, Yeah (1954)
  • Imperial 5338 My Idea About You/I Got News For You (1955)
  • Imperial 5345 Eyes Full Of Tears/Runnin' Wild (1954; rel. 1955)
  • Imperial 5353 Yours Truly/Be Faithful (1955)
  • Post (Imperial subsidiary) 2007 Don't Go/I Must Go On (1955; rel. 1956)
  • Vee Jay 214 The Telephone Is Ringing/A Frosty Night (1956)
  • Vee Jay 252 I Don't Care/I Found My Peace Of Mind (w/The El Dorados) (1957)
  • Vee Jay 266 Is This The Price I Pay/Fiddle De Dee (1957)
  • Fox 102 Look Up And Live/Give Me One More Chance (w/The Four Temps) (1959)
  • Jamie 1190 Tain't Nobody's Biz-Ness/Little Bitty Things (1960)
  • Guyden 2048 I'm Still In Love With You/Time On My Hands (1961)
  • Smash 1774 Git To Gittin'/Hillbilly Blues (1962)

LP and CD releases/compilations of note[edit]

  • Pee Wee Crayton (1960, Crown LP #CLP-5175; 1991, P-Vine LP #PLP-6625)
  • Things I Used To Do (1971, Vanguard #6566)
  • Great Rhythm & Blues Oldies, Volume 5 - Pee Wee Crayton (1974, Blues Spectrum (Johnny Otis' label) LP #BS-105)
  • Everyday I Have The Blues (1978, Pablo LP #2310-818) features Big Joe Turner with Pee Wee Crayton & Sonny Stitt.
  • Have No Fear Joe Turner Is Here (1981, Pablo LP #2310-863) features Big Joe Turner with Pee Wee Crayton.
  • Peace Of Mind (1982, Charly R&B LP #CFM-601) note: this is a special 10" vinyl LP release; contains all the material [10 tracks] that Pee Wee recorded for Vee Jay Records in 1956-57.
  • Blues Guitar Genius: Pee Wee Crayton, Volume 1 (1982, Ace LP #CH-23) note: this is a special 10" vinyl LP release; contains material that Pee Wee recorded for Modern Records in 1949-52.
  • Rocking Down On Central Avenue: Pee Wee Crayton, Volume Two (1982, Ace LP #CHA-61) contains material that Pee Wee recorded for Modern Records.
  • Early Hour Blues (1999, Blind Pig #5052) reissue of Murray Brothers LP #MB-1005 'Make Room For Pee Wee' from 1983.
  • Pee Wee Crayton - Memorial Album (1986, Ace LP #CHD-177) contains material that Pee Wee recorded for Modern Records.
  • After Hours Boogie: Pee Wee Crayton And His Guitar (1988, Blues Boy LP #BB-307) contains various 1947-62 recordings on numerous labels; also includes Pee Wee's very first demo recording, "Pee Wee's Hop" from 1945 (a piano/guitar/bass trio-styled instrumental).
  • Pee Wee's Blues: The Complete Aladdin And Imperial Recordings (1996, Capitol-EMI #36292)
  • Blues After Hours: The Essential Pee Wee Crayton (1996, Blues Encore #52045) contains various 1947-56 recordings on numerous labels.
  • The Modern Legacy, Volume 1 (1996, Ace #CHD-632)
  • Blues Guitar Magic: The Modern Legacy, Volume 2 (2000, Ace #CHD-767)
  • Blues After Hours: The Essential Pee Wee Crayton (2002, Indigo #2526) contains material that Pee Wee recorded for Modern Records in 1948-51.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dead Rock Stars website birth and death details - accessed February 2008
  2. ^ Cascade Blues Association biography and profile - accessed February 2008 Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
  3. ^ a b c d Allmusic biography of Pee Wee Crayton
  4. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 104–05. ISBN 978-1-85868-255-6. 

External links[edit]