Pee Wee Crayton

Connie Curtis Crayton (18 December 1914, Rockdale, Texas25 June, 1985, Los Angeles, California [http://users.efortress.com/doc-rock/1980.html Dead Rock Stars website birth and death details - accessed February 2008] ] ), known as Pee Wee Crayton, was an American R&B and blues guitarist and singer.

Career

There are several stories on how he acquired the name Pee Wee. In a "Living Blues" article in the 1980s, he stated that friend and singer, Roy Brown, gave him the nickname. This makes sense since Brown had a way of making nicknames for many of his friends. It has also been said that his father gave him the nickname as a tribute to a local Texas piano player. [http://www.cascadeblues.org/History/PeeWeeCrayton.htm Cascade Blues Association biography and profile - accessed February 2008] ]

Crayton began playing guitar seriously after moving to California in 1935 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:difwxq95ldke~T1 All Music Guide biography of Pee Wee Crayton] ] , and 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 flip side, the sleek pop ballad "I'm Still in Love With You", and the livelier "Texas Hop" indicate his range, but this was music very much of its time and place, California in the late 1940s, and he never managed to break that mould.cite book
first= Tony
last= Russell
year= 1997
title= The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray
edition=
publisher= Carlton Books Limited
location= Dubai
pages= p. 104-05
id= ISBN 1-85868-255-X
] He went on to record for many other record labels in the 1950s including Imperial in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jamie in Philadelphia and Vee-Jay in Chicago. It is thought he was the first blues guitarist to use a Fender Stratocaster, given to him by Leo Fender. Crayton largely faded from view until Vanguard unleashed his LP, "Things I Used to Do", in 1971. After that his profile was raised somewhat; he toured and made a few more albums prior to his passing.

A long time resident of Topanga, California, Crayton died of a heart attack in 1985 was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery.

ee also

*List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart
*List of blues musicians
*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

References

External links

* [http://afgen.com/crayton.html An article about Pee Wee Crayton]
* [http://www.cascadeblues.org/History/PeeWeeCrayton.htm Cascade Blues Association website - full biography]


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