Pee Wee Crayton
|Pee Wee Crayton|
|Birth name||Connie Curtis Crayton|
December 18, 1914|
Rockdale, Texas, United States
|Died||June 25, 1985
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Genres||Rhythm and blues, blues|
Born in Rockdale, Texas, United States, Crayton began playing guitar seriously after moving to California in 1935, later settling in San Francisco. 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. One of his first recordings was the instrumental, "Blues After Hours", which reached #1 in the Billboard R&B chart late that year. Its B-side, the pop ballad "I'm Still in Love With You", and the quicker "Texas Hop", are good examples of his work.
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.
Original 10" shellac (78rpm) and 7" vinyl (45rpm) releases
- 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
- 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.
- List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart
- List of Texas blues musicians
- List of West Coast blues musicians
- List of electric blues musicians
- Chicago Blues Festival
- San Francisco Blues Festival
- Long Beach Blues Festival
- Chicago Blues Festival
- West Coast blues
- Dead Rock Stars website birth and death details - accessed February 2008
- Cascade Blues Association biography and profile - accessed February 2008 Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Allmusic biography of Pee Wee Crayton
- Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 104–05. ISBN 978-1-85868-255-6.