Pee Wee Crayton was an American blues guitarist and singer, born on May 30, 1914, in Rock Island, Texas. He is considered one of the pioneers of electric blues and a major influence on the development of West Coast blues.
Crayton’s musical career began in the 1930s when he was still a teenager. He was part of the legendary blues scene in Los Angeles during the 1940s and 1950s, where he played with many other blues legends such as T-Bone Walker and Charles Brown. He recorded his first single “Blues After Hours” in 1948, which became a hit and marked the beginning of his recording career. Over the next few decades, Crayton recorded over 50 singles, including “Blues Before Sunrise”, “Texas Hop”, and “Blues Everywhere I Go”.
Crayton was known for his distinctive fingerpicking style and his ability to play a wide range of instruments, including guitar, piano, and saxophone. He was also known for his soulful vocals, which often had a conversational quality, and for his ability to blend elements of blues, jazz, and R&B into his music.
Despite his popularity and influence, Crayton struggled with the challenges faced by many African American musicians during the mid-20th century, including limited commercial opportunities, racial segregation, and financial hardship. Despite these obstacles, Crayton continued to perform and record throughout his career, and he remained a popular and respected figure in the blues community until his death on December 18, 1985.
Crayton’s contributions to the blues genre have been recognized and celebrated by musicians and fans around the world. He has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and his music has been covered and reinterpreted by a new generation of blues musicians.
In conclusion, Pee Wee Crayton was a trailblazer in the world of blues and his music continues to influence and inspire musicians today. His unique blend of styles, soulful vocals, and virtuosic guitar playing have made him a beloved figure in the blues community and a true legend of American music.