Texas Blues Jumpin' In Los Angeles: The Modern Music Sessions 1948-51 Pee Wee Crayton


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 1400

Some 20 years ago I went with my friend, archivist and researcher Ray Topping, to his place of employment at Ace Records, where he marched me into Ted Carroll’s office to propose a three-CD series by Pee Wee Crayton, a hero and friend to Ray and myself. “The Modern Legacy Volume 1” and “Volume 2” followed in fairly short order, but no third volume appeared before Ray’s death in 2009. Now, instigated by Roger Armstrong, Ace is mining the Modern vaults to complete the trilogy with “Texas Blues Jumpin’ In Los Angeles”, intended in part as a memorial to Ray, who brought more of Pee Wee’s vintage output to light than anyone else among his contributions to our knowledge of recorded blues.

The CD is also a tribute to two other people. Pee Wee was one of the first blues artists to be really kind to me, in 1970, by which time I was already immersed in his music, and we had a happy mutual admiration society until his death in 1985. He felt he’d gotten short shrift from history, so the chance to honour his memory and legacy and confirm all the things that make him worthy is an extra special privilege and joy. And Pee Wee’s widow Esther remains devoted to Pee Wee, a bulwark for her family and preparer of the most legendary lemon cake in Los Angeles. She showed me a few years ago that she carries the letter I wrote to Pee Wee after seeing him at the Chicago Blues Festival less than two weeks before his death. Esther was a huge blessing to Pee Wee as a companion, songwriter and even vocal partner on their Pee Wee & Esther 45. This project is in no small part for her. Pee Wee and Esther valued Ray very highly, so it’s fitting to bring them together one more time.

So here we are in 2014, the original vision realised by Ace. But this may not end here. A few more of Pee Wee’s out-takes merit digital issue, as do his 1960s Modern session and the Dolphin masters controlled by Ace, including more nice out-takes. Someday those and possibly other material could lead to a “Volume 4”. Meanwhile, savour a fascinating and enjoyable glimpse back in time to a crucial point in the development of electric blues guitar by a pioneer and into the studio process. 

By Dick Shurman 


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Blues After Hours (Later alt version of Modern 624)

  • 02 Preview I'm Still In Love With You (Modern 624 (with f/s) MM 869-1)

  • 03 Preview Texas Hop (Alt of Modern 643 MM 924-2)

  • 04 Preview When Darkness Falls (MM 870-1)

  • 05 Preview Central Avenue Blues (Alt of Modern 643 MM 925-1)

  • 06 Preview Austin Boogie (MM 964-3)

  • 07 Preview I Love You So aka I Still Love You (Alt of Modern 675 - MM 926-3)

  • 08 Preview Long After Hours (Alt of Modern 707 - MM 1162-3)

  • 09 Brand New Woman

  • 10 Preview Brand New Woman

  • 11 Preview T For Texas (Mistreated Blues) (No MM#-2)

  • 12 Preview Blues For My Baby (Alt of Crown LP CLP 5175 B4 with f/s - MM 1222-1)

  • 13 Preview Tired Of Travelin' (Alt of Modern 796 - MM 1149-2)

  • 14 Preview When A Man Has The Blues

  • 15 Preview The Bop Hop (Alt of Modern 675 - MM 1074-2)

  • 16 Preview My Everything (Alt of Crown LP CLP 5175 B4 with f/s - MM 1223-2)

  • 17 Preview Rockin' The Blues (Alt of Modern 732 - MM 1297-2)

  • 18 Preview Old Fashioned Baby (Alt of Modern 719 - MM 1224-1)

  • 19 Preview Some Rainy Day (Modern 742 - MM 1332-5)

  • 20 Preview Huckle Boogie

  • 21 Preview Change Your Way Of Lovin' (Alt of Modern 796 - MM 1333-2)

  • 22 Preview Answer To Blues After Hours (Modern 763 - MM 1349-2)

  • 23 Preview Crayton Special (Previously unissued - MM 1348-5)

  • 24 Preview California Women (Alt of Crown LP CLP 5175 A5 - MM 1350-1)

  • 25 Preview Good Little Woman (Alt of Modern 774 - MM 1351-3)

  • 26 Preview Thinkin' Of You (Alt of Modern 816 - MM 1543-3)

  • 27 Preview Poppa Stoppa (Alt of Modern 816 - MM 1542-5)

  • 28 Preview Tired Of Travelin' (Alt of Crown LP CLP 5175 A4 - MM 1545-1)

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Press quotes


The art of excellence, in CD reissue terms, is when a new release can boast 25 out of 28 tracks as previously unissued recordings. This is one such a release. ★★★★

Record Collector

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