Pee Wee Crayton

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Pee Wee Crayton
Birth nameConnie Curtis Crayton
Born(1914-12-18)December 18, 1914
Rockdale, Texas, United States
DiedJune 25, 1985(1985-06-25) (aged 70)
Los Angeles, California, United States
GenresRhythm and blues, blues
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer
InstrumentsGuitar
Years active1940s–1985
LabelsVarious

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]

Crayton was born in Rockdale, Texas.[2] He 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 number 1 on the Billboard R&B chart late that year.[3][4] Its B-side, the pop ballad "I'm Still in Love with You", and the quicker "Texas Hop" are good examples of his work.[5]

He went on to record for many other record labels in the 1950s, including Imperial in New Orleans, Vee-Jay in Chicago and Jamie in Philadelphia. It is thought he was the first blues guitarist to use a Fender Stratocaster, playing an instrument given to him by Leo Fender.

His opening guitar riff on the 1954 single "Do Unto Others"[6] was "quoted"[7] by John Lennon in the beginning of the B-side single version[8] of "Revolution" released by The Beatles on Apple Records in 1968.

Crayton’s 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] He was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery.

Discography[edit]

10" Shellac (78-rpm) and 7" vinyl (45-rpm) records[edit]

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

LP and CD releases and compilations of note[edit]

  • Pee Wee Crayton, Crown LP CLP-5175 (1960), P-Vine LP PLP-6625 (1991)
  • Things I Used to Do, Vanguard 6566 (1971)
  • Great Rhythm & Blues Oldies, Volume 5: Pee Wee Crayton, Blues Spectrum (Johnny Otis's label) LP BS-105 (1974)
  • Everyday I Have the Blues, Big Joe Turner with Crayton and Sonny Stitt, Pablo LP 2310-818 (1978)
  • Have No Fear Joe Turner Is Here, Big Joe Turner and Crayton, Pablo LP 2310-863 (1981)
  • Peace of Mind, Charly R&B LP CFM-601 (1982), 10" vinyl LP containing all 10 tracks that Crayton recorded for Vee Jay Records in 1956–1957
  • Blues Guitar Genius: Pee Wee Crayton, Volume 1, Ace LP CH-23 (1982), 10" vinyl LP containing tracks recorded for Modern Records, 1949–1952
  • Rocking Down on Central Avenue: Pee Wee Crayton, Volume Two, Ace LP CHA-61 (1982), tracks recorded for Modern Records.
  • Make Room for Pee Wee, Murray Brothers LP MB-1005 (recorded August 1983)
  • Early Hour Blues, Murray Brothers LP MB-1007 (recorded December 1984)
  • Pee Wee Crayton: Memorial Album, Ace LP CHD-177 (1986), tracks recorded for Modern Records
  • After Hours Boogie: Pee Wee Crayton and His Guitar, Blues Boy LP BB-307 (1988), tracks recorded from 1947 to 1962 for numerous labels, with Crayton's first demo recording, "Pee Wee's Hop" (1945), a piano–guitar–bass instrumental
  • Pee Wee's Blues: The Complete Aladdin and Imperial Recordings, Capitol-EMI 36292 (1996)
  • Blues After Hours: The Essential Pee Wee Crayton, Blues Encore 52045 (1996), recordings made for numerous labels, 1947–1956
  • The Modern Legacy, Volume 1, Ace CHD-632 (1996)
  • Early Hour Blues, Blind Pig 5052 (1999), CD containing both Murray Brothers albums
  • Blues Guitar Magic: The Modern Legacy, Volume 2, Ace CHD-767 (2000)
  • Blues After Hours: The Essential Pee Wee Crayton, Indigo 2526 (2002), tracks recorded for Modern Records, 1948–1951
  • Texas Blues Jumpin' in Los Angeles: The Modern Music Sessions 1948–1951, Ace CHD-1400 (2014)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The 1980s". TheDeadRockStarsClub.com. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 13, 2011. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
  3. ^ a b c d Dahl, Bill. "Pee Wee Crayton: Biography". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  4. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 13, 14. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  5. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 104–105. ISBN 978-1-85868-255-6.
  6. ^ "Pee-Wee Crayton Do Unto Others".
  7. ^ "100-greatest-beatles-songs". rollingstone.com.
  8. ^ "The Beatles - Revolution".

External links[edit]