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Pee Wee Crayton biography



Connie Curtis Crayton (December 18, 1914 – June 25, 1985), known as Pee Wee Crayton, was an American R&B and blues guitarist and singer. Career Born in Rockdale, Texas, there are several stories on how Crayton 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. Crayton began playing guitar seriously after moving to California in 1935, 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. 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. A long time resident of Los Angeles, California, Crayton died of a heart attack in 1985 in Los Angeles, and was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery.