Saturday

DECEMBER 21ST


HAPPY BIRTHDAY PEETIE WHEATSTRAW!


BIRTHDAYS 


Peetie Wheatstraw by R. Crumb
1902
Peetie Wheatstraw
b. Ripley, TN, USA.
d. 1941.
Peetie Wheatstraw was the name adopted by singer William Bunch, taking it from Black American folklore. According to author Ralph Ellison, who made use of the Wheatstraw legend to model characters in his novels Invisible Man and Juneteenth, "Peetie Wheatstraw" was the evil half of a twin personality whose challenge was invoked at the start of a pool game. He was "the Devil's Son-In-Law" or "the High Sheriff of Hell," in search of his other half, the "Lord God Stingerroy" to shoot him a game. Nothing is known of the early life of William Bunch, other than that he was born in Ripley, Tennessee and raised in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. In 1929, he arrived in East St. Louis, already using the name Peetie Wheatstraw. Allegedly, as Wheatstraw, Bunch was also spreading the rumor that he had been to the "crossroads" and had sold his soul to the Prince of Darkness in exchange for success as a musician.
Without regard for the validity of Wheatstraw's claims, this self-promotion paid off in short order. Peetie Wheatstraw soon became a popular performer in East St. Louis and his fame quickly spread to Chicago. At a time when most record companies were cutting their entire blues rosters in order to survive the depression, Peetie Wheatstraw suddenly became a hot item. Wheatstraw began his recording career singing vocal duets with the unknown "Neckbones" (possibly J.D. Short) for ARC on September 13, 1930 and continued recording on his own into the early part of 1931. 
After an isolated session for Bluebird in September, 1931, Wheatstraw returned to ARC, and then moved to Decca in 1934, where the bulk of his best recordings were made. Peetie Wheatstraw recorded in every year of the 1930s save 1933, ultimately producing 175 sides in all with only one rejection, an enormous total for a blues artist in the pre-war period. This figure does not include recordings made by Wheatstraw sitting in on records made by his frequent partner, Kokomo Arnold, or ones made with Amos Easton, a.k.a. Bumble Bee Slim.
In the only known photograph of Peetie Wheatstraw, he is shown holding a guitar; curious, as he was a primarily a piano player, although he may have played his own guitar on a couple of recording dates. On his records Wheatstraw usually required a guitarist to play with him, and had many excellent ones to choose from, including Kokomo Arnold, Lonnie Johnson, Charlie Jordan, Charlie McCoy, and Teddy Bunn, in addition to pianist Champion Jack Dupree. 
On some of his last dates, Peetie Wheatstraw recorded within a jazz inspired framework, collaborating with Lil Armstrong and trumpeter Jonah Jones. His true strength was not so much in terms of instrumental ability as it was his singing and the varied lyrical content of his songs, which dealt with topics such as loose women, alcohol, supernaturalism, gambling, suicide and murder. Robert Johnson cribbed so many lyrical ideas from the work of Peetie Wheatstraw that it's not even worth going into specific examples of that derivation here.
The sheer size of Peetie Wheatstraw's recorded output has worked against his reputation. Some blues experts have expressed the opinion that Wheatstraw's recordings are limited stylistically, lack variety and tend towards repetition. One hallmark of his style was the use of pet phrases for purposes of punctuation, most typically "Oh, well, well" in third verses of songs. On the contrary, it would seem that anyone who was thinking of formalizing aspects of blues songwriting in the 1930s would be hailed a harbinger of things to come, rather than blamed for a lack of imagination.
In the later '30s, Peetie Wheatstraw's recording sessions were being held once every two or three months and consisted of six to eight songs per date, so he had to develop formulas in order to keep his content fresh. That Wheatstraw did so successfully was something that affected nearly every blues musician within hearing distance of one of his records. He was overwhelmingly popular throughout the 1930s, and he is credited in some quarters with being the artist who carried the blues from its lowly status as rural "devil's music" into the cities where, in time, it would grow, thrive and change to suit the needs of a new, urban audience.
Peetie Wheatstraw would not personally live to witness these future changes. Since his death, researchers have probed arduously in an attempt get at more information about him, interviewing his acquaintances and reviewing civic records. But even more than sixty years after his death practically nothing substantive is known about him or his life, despite his ambitious recording schedule and tremendous popularity. For someone cultivating the legend of a deal with the devil, Wheatstraw's death was eerily appropriate -- celebrating his 39th birthday, Wheatstraw and some friends decided to drive to the local market to pick up some liquor, and on their way out they tried to beat a railroad train that was coming down the tracks at full speed. Needless to say, they didn't make it.
~ Uncle Dave Lewis



1905
"Black Ace" aka: B. K. "Babe" Turner, slide guitar
b. Hughes Springs, TX, USA.
'Black Ace' was one of the few Bluesmen to play their guitar in Hawaiian style -on the lap, using a slide. During the 1920, he worked at local venues in Greenville, TX, with "Smokey" Hogg (né: Andrew Hogg, Blues vocals, b. Jan. 27, 1914, Westconnie, TX, USA, d. May 1, 1960, McKinney, TX, USA. aka: "Texas Smokey" Hogg.) During the 1930s Turner, Hogg, and Buddy Woods often worked together, although Turner did make some solo tours.
From 1936 - 1941, Turner had a show on Fort Worth radio station KFJZ. In 1937, he recorded for the Decca label. In 1941, he may have appeared in the film "The Blood of Jesus", but if so, he was completely uncredited. (The film, intended primarily for Black audiences, is interesting in that it was one of the very few attempts at Black independent filmmaking in the 1930s and '40s. Spencer Williams, who portrayed Andy on the "Amos and Andy" radio show, wrote, directed, and starred in this film.) Turner spent the WWII years serving in the U.S.Army. upon his service demobilization, he worked mostly at non-musical "day jobs", although he did record an LP for the Arboolie label.
Biography 
~by Ron Wynn 
Black Ace - Wikipedia




Jerome Darr and Barry Gailbraith
1910
Jerome Darr, Guitar
b. Baltimore, MD, USA
d. Oct 29, 1986, New York (Brooklyn), NY, USA.
This guitarist had a very interesting, and varied, career. While not well documented, it is known that he began his career working in a "Jug" type band, 'Washboard Serenaders' (1933-'36), even touring Europe with the group. 
He would go on to on Blues sessions, the with the changing times, on bebop sessions, and even backed up "Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers". Near the end of his career, he most often worked with trumpeter Jonah Jones' group.
Jerome Darr: Information from Answers.com



1918
David "Panama" Francis, Leader/drums
b. Miami, FL USA
d. Nov. 13, 2001
né: David Francis, Drums

The King Sisters
1913
Louise King, vocalist.
One of the Kings Sisters Vocal group, best
recalled for their days with Alvino Rey band.

1905
Harry Revel, composer
b. London, England, UK
d. Nov. 3, 1958, New York, NY (Cerebral Hemmorhage).
Among his songs are: "Did You Ever See A Dream Walking", "Stay As Sweet As You Are", "Love Thy Neighbor" (a huge Bing Crosby hit), and "Paris in the Spring". In 1935, The team of Mack Gordon and Harry Revel received nine Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards, for nine different songs.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

1963.
Clifford Gibson, guitar
died in St. Louis, MO, USA.
Charlie Fuqua, vocals
died in New Haven, CT, USA.
Age: 60.
On This Date Include: 

1921

Edith Wilson and her Jazz Hounds
“Birmingham Blues”, (Charles McCord / Matthews)

Johnny Dunn's Original Jazz Hounds 
“Bugle Blues”, (Kelly)



The California Ramblers 
“April Showers”


1923

Piron's New Orleans Orchestra - “West Indies Blues”, (Clarence Williams / Spencer Williams / Edgar Dowell)

1925

Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra
Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra - “Flamin' Mamie”, Vocal refrain by J.L. Sanders

Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra - “Louise, You Tease"


    Eddie Peabody 

    “Then I'll Be Happy”




    Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra  - “Poor Little Rich Girl”, (Noel Coward)
    1926


    Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers - “Grandpa's Spells”, (Jelly Roll Morton )


    1928

    Irving Aaronson and his Commanders
    “Sweetheart Of All My Dreams (I Love You - I Love You - I Love You)”, (A. and K. Fitch-Lowe)




    1929

    Ray Miller's Orchestra
    Ray Miller's Orchestra - “Ain't You, Baby?”(Jack Yellen / Milton Ager)
    Ray Miller's Orchestra - “Harlem Madness" (Jack Yellen / Milton Ager)

    1932

    Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra
    “Medley Of Armstrong Hits Part 1 Intro. You Rascal You , Nobody's Sweetheart, When It's Sleepy Time Down South”
    “Medley Of Armstrong Hits Part 2 Intro. When You're Smiling , St. James Infirmary, Dinah

      LYRICS:


      THEN I'LL BE HAPPY 
      (Cliff Friend / Lew Brown)


      I wanna go where you go, do what you do
      Love when you love then I'll be happy
      I wanna sigh when you sigh, cry when you cry
      Smile when you smile then I'll be happy.

      If you go north or south, if you go east or west
      I'll follow you sweetheart and share your little love nest
      I wanna go where you go, do what you do
      Love when you love then I'll be happy.

      (I wanna go where you go, do what you do)
      Love when you love then I'll be happy
      (I wanna sigh when you sigh, cry when you cry)

      Smile when you smile then I'll be happy.

      If you go north or south, if you go east or west
      I'll follow you sweetheart and share your little love nest
      I wanna go where you go, do what you do
      Love when you love then I'll be happy... 

      TubaGirlFin 
      brought to you by...   
      ~confetta
      Special Thanks To:
      Scott Yanow, 
      And all who have provided 
      content for this site.