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The Essential Pee Wee Crayton: Blues After Hours

Pee Wee Crayton Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 May 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Indigo
  • ASIN: B000065BYA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,244 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. 12 Nov 2013
By BBC
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Lovers of the blues, rock a billy should have a Pee Wee Crayton in their collection, and this is a great introduction.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pee Wee Crayton "Blues After Hours" 18 Aug 2005
By Rene Sandoval - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is one of best blues albums I've heard in a long time.

It mixes jazz, swing and blues into one and it sounds great. This was recorded in the 40's in Los Angeles and when I listen to some of the tracks I can just picture how cool it must have been to live in LA in the 40's. Some critics say that Pee Wee's

guitar style imitated the great T-Bone Walker. In some ways it did, but i think Pee Wee had his own style, tone and sound that made him stand out. I would recommend this album to anyone that

enjoys hardcore blues, jazz or swing.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncle Connie Curtis "Pee Wee" Crayton... 28 April 2006
By D. B.One - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Although Uncle "Pee Wee" was certainly unremitting influenced by his close friend and pioneering mastre conception of the electric blues guitar, "T-Bone" Walker (what axe-handler wasn't during the immediate postwar era?); however, "Pee Wee" brought enough "heat" and daring innovation to his playing to avoid being labeled as a mere "T-Bone" Walker copy "kat."

Crayton recorded over the years for Modern, Vee-Jay, Aladdin & Imperial Recordings and Blind Pig Records of which contains plenty of dazzling, marvelously imaginative guitar work and distinct vocals, especially on stunning instrumentals such as "Texas Hop," "Pee Wee's Boogie," and "Poppa Stoppa," all far more aggressive performances than Walker usually took part in...clearly no mis-understanding here with respect to "Bone," I have nothing but pure admiration for "T-Bone..."

As a young teen in the early 70's, I was extremely fortunate to see both trailblazing "Axe-Men" ("Pee Wee" and "T-Bone" even though they were up in their later years) and experience the greatness of their "vibes" up close and personal... Other times, I would soak-up like a sponge and weld to memory those rare meetings when the "Texas 3" (1) Uncle "Pee Wee" (2) "T-Bone" Walker and (3) "Big Joe" Turner (another pioneering mastre blues singer, even though he was born in Kansas City, MO., he sang like he was from the state of Texas...) would get together at uncle "Pee Wee's" house in West Los Angeles, California and "jamm"/rehearse all day Saturdays or Sunday afternoons up until the late evenings (including some rare appearances from "Pee Wee's" nephew Marshal on Saxophone). On many occasions, all of this energy took place just before going to there "gig" at The Perisan Room (a defunct legendary popular "nite-spot" during the 1960's - late '80's located on the southwest corner of La Brea Avenue & Washington Blvd. of which now sits a U.S. Postal Station)-- exhilarating to say the least!

*Note, this CD's title track "Blues after Hours" also shows up on the "Devil in a Blue Dress: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack;" as well as, in the film too (unaccredited by most noteworthy press media). And, no his music is not public domain yet...

--"Big Dave" Burleigh an 'AmeriCanadian' Record Producre/ Artist/ Singer-Songwritre.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Overview Of A Largely Unsung Late 1940s Blues Vocalist /Guitarist 11 Aug 2007
By AvidOldiesCollector - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Leave it to a U.K. company to put out the definitive CD on one of America's more accomplished, yet unsung blues singers/electric guitarists. Indigo, like Ace of London, is so far ahead of most U.S. distributors when it comes to such historic music that it has to border on embarrassment.

Connie "Pee Wee" Crayton [the nickname was later applied by blues great Roy Brown] was born in Rockdale, Texas on December 18, 1914, but grew up in Austin where he learned to play the ukulele and trumpet. When he was 21 he moved to the west coast and for the next decade music was not part of his livelihood. But in 1945, with no real future in sight in the shipyards where he toiled, he took up the guitar at age 31 and eventually formed a trio which soon found steady employment in both LA and San Francisco. In 1946 he worked briefly with the great Ivory Joe Hunter in LA, even performing on a Pacific label record [which did not make any charts], and in 1947 cut a single of his own for the 4 Star label, which also failed to chart. But in 1948, with Modern Records, his Blues After Hours soared to # 1 in December on what then passed for the R&B charts, where it remained for three solid weeks. The flipside was I'm Still In Love With You.

The follow-up Texas Hop didn't fare quite as well early in 1949, but it still peaked at a respectable # 5 b/w Central Avenue Blues, and in August that year he had his third (and last) charted hit when I Love You So, on which he also vocalizes, topped out at # 6 b/w When Darkness Falls. All six sides are here, reproduced with amazing clarity.

The band then struck out on a tour across America and it was while they were in Michigan that he performed on a card with Big Joe Turner and Lowell Fulson. After deciding to make Detroit his home base in 1955, he continued touring the east coast and down into the southeastern states. One memorable show in Detroit saw he and the legendary T-Bone Walker slug it out on stage in the so-called Battle of the Guitars. It was considered a draw. Towards the end of the 1950s he was frequently found touring with the likes of Mabel (Big Maybelle) Louise Smith, and mega-stars like Dinah Washington and Ray Charles, cutting the odd record for both Vee-Jay and Fox, but without any further chart success.

In the 1960s revival (primarily in Europe) of the Country Blues artists from earlier decades such as B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, and Sonny Boy Williamson, Pee Wee Crayton was among the forgotten ones. After record sessions with Jamie in 1961 proved unsuccessful he went back to LA where, around sporadic live engagements, he drove a truck to make ends meet.

In 1968 he cut some more material for his old Modern label, but by then his sound was lost amidst the likes of The Doors, Rascals, Simon & Garfunkel, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder. However, in the 1970s he returned to the limelight briefly after he began playing with the famed Johnny Otis Show, including a gig at the Monterey Jazz Festival which was recorded and released by Colombia on their Epic subsidiary. In 1971 the Vanguard label released a critically-acclaimed LP titled Things I Used to Do, and in 1974 he recorded another for Blue Spectrum Records, the label started that year by Otis out in LA.

Pee Wee passed away in 1985. Almost totally forgotten these days in the general scheme of Blues history, and never regarded with the same devotion, even in his heyday, as most of his peers, he was always acclaimed by those same artists who truly appreciated his musicianship. Now, thanks to Indigo, those of us who do recall him fondly can hear him at his best, while those experiencing him for the first time can marvel at his dexterity.
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