It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora Plus subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora Plus trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora Plus trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora Plus.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Peetie Wheatstraw

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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Peetie Wheatstraw, Vol. 2: 1934-1935

1. Back Door Blues

2. Packin' Up Blues

3. Long Lonsome Drive

4. Midnight Blues

5. The Last Dime

6. All Night Long Blues

7. Numbers Blues

8. Good Home Blues

9. These Times

10. Throw Me In The Alley

11. C And A Train Blues

12. Last Week Blues

13. Keyhole Blues

14. Long Time Ago Blues

15. Doin' The Best I Can

16. The Rising Sun Blues

17. Blues At My Door

18. Truthful Blues

19. Good Whiskey Blues

20. More Good Whiskey Blues

21. Letter Writing Blues

22. Whiskey Head Blues

23. Slave Man Blues

24. C And A Train Blues (90169)

x

Track List: Peetie Wheatstraw: Vol. 4 - 1936-1937

1. Old Good Whiskey Blues

2. Poor Millionaire Blues

3. Deep Sea Love

4. Drinking Man Blues

5. Country Fool Blues

6. Jungle Man Blues

7. Santa Fe Blues

8. Mistreated Love Blues

9. Remember And Forget Blues

10. Don't Take A Chance

11. Froggie Blues

12. Block And Tackle

13. Cut Out Blues

14. When A Man Gets Down

15. I Don’t Want No Pretty Faced Woman

16. False Hearted Woman

17. Little House (I'm Gonna Chase These Peppers)

18. Fairasee Woman (Memphis Woman)

19. Beggar Man Blues

20. Crazy With The Blues

21. Ramblin' Man

22. Peetie Wheatstraw Stomp

23. Peetie Wheatstraw Stomp No. 2

x

Track List: Peetie Wheatstraw Vol. 7 1940-1941

1. Jaybird Blues

2. Suicide Blues

3. Pocket Knife Blues

4. Gangster's Blues

5. Cuttin' 'Em Slow

6. Look Out For Yourself

7. No 'Count Woman

8. What's That?

9. I Don't Feel Sleepy

10. My Little Bit

11. Seeing Is Believing

12. The Good Lawd's Children

13. You Got To Tell Me Something

14. Love Me With Attention

15. I'm A Little Piece Of Leather

16. Don’t Put Yourself On The Spot

17. Old Organ Blues

18. Hearse Man Blues

19. Bring Me Flowers While I'm Living

20. Pawn Broker Blues

21. Southern Girl Blues

22. Mister Livingood

23. Separation Day Blues

x

Track List: Peetie Wheatstraw Vol. 3 1935-1936

1. Good Hustler Blues

2. Cocktail Man Blues

3. King Spider Blues

4. Hi-De-Ho Woman Blues

5. Sorrow Hearted Blues

6. Up The Road Blues

7. Last Dime Blues

8. King Of Spades

9. Johnnie Blues

10. Santa Claus Blues

11. Lonesome Lonesome Blues

12. No Good Woman (Fighting Blues)

13. First And Last Blues

14. True Blue Woman

15. Kidnapper's Blues (C-1259)

16. Sweet Home Blues (Take 1)

17. Sweet Home Blues (Take 2)

18. Good Woman Blues

19. Working Man (Doing The Best I Can)

20. Low Down Rascal

21. When I Get My Bonus (Things Will Be Coming My Way)

22. Coon Can Shorty

23. Meat Cutter Blues

24. The First Shall Be Last And The Last Shall Be First

25. Kidnapper's Blues (60527)

x

Track List: Peetie Wheatstraw Vol. 5 1937-1938

1. Crapshooter's Blues

2. Would You Would You Mama

3. Give Me Black Or Brown

4. Working On The Project

5. Sick Bed Blues

6. I'm Gonna Cut Out Everything

7. New Working On The Project

8. Baby Lou, Baby Lou

9. Devilment Blues

10. Third Street's Going Down

11. 304 Blues

12. The Wrong Woman (Lost My Job On The Project)

13. Hard Hearted Black Gal

14. Banana Man

15. Shack Bully Stomp

16. Road Tramp Blues

17. Sweet Lucille

18. Saturday Night Blues

19. Good Little Thing

20. Cake Alley

21. What More Can A Man Do?

22. Truckin' Thru Traffic

23. Hot Springs Blues (Skin And Bones)

24. A Man Ain't Nothin' But A Fool

x

Track List: Peetie Wheatstraw Vol. 1 1930-1932

1. Tennessee Peaches Blues

2. Four O'Clock In The Morning

3. Don't Feel Welcome Blues

4. Strange Man Blues

5. School Days

6. So Soon

7. So Long Blues

8. Mama's Advice

9. Ain't It A Pity And A Shame?

10. Don't Hang My Clothes On No Barb Wire Line

11. C And A Blues

12. Six Weeks Old Blues

13. Devil's Son-In-Law

14. Pete Wheatstraw

15. Creeping Blues

16. Ice And Snow Blues

17. The Break I'm Getting'

18. Hog-Love Blues

19. Police Station Blues

20. All Alone Blues

21. Can't See Blues

22. Sleepless Nights Blues

x

Track List: Peetie Wheatstraw Vol. 6 1938-1940

1. Black Horse Blues

2. Sugar Mama

3. Me No Lika You

4. Possum Den Blues (Take A)

5. Possum Den Blues (Take B)

6. Little Low Mellow Mama

7. A Working Man's Blues

8. One To Twelve (Just As Show)

9. Let's Talk Things Over

10. Sinking Sun Blues

11. Easy Way Blues

12. Machine Gun Blues

13. Beer Tavern

14. You Can't Stop Me From Drinking

15. I Want Some Sea Food

16. Rolling Chair

17. Love Bug Blues

18. Confidence Man

19. Big Apple Blues

20. Big Money Blues

21. Chicago Mill Blues

22. Five Minutes Blues

23. Two Time Mama

Comments

Report as inappropriate
bcamppuck
This is what I interpret as the St. louis Style..Prima r i l y guitar and voice with soft rhythmic accompanimen t from piano or other instruments. As the music moved North it picked up bolder instrumentat i o n and became Rock and Roll somewhere 'between Chicago and Detroit...bu t this is REAL BLUES!!
Report as inappropriate
Hes very similar to Robert Johnson in style,and pretty good at that to.

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[118, 76, 119, 83, 119, 114, 87, 90, 80, 108, 99, 67, 121, 91, 72, 67, 88, 112, 77, 112, 110, 83, 65, 75, 122, 114, 70, 85, 119, 75, 120, 121, 93, 75, 79, 106, 87, 114, 87, 82, 64, 115, 64, 69, 83, 114, 118, 125, 110, 110, 119, 77, 85, 64, 113, 120, 117, 120, 106, 67, 117, 111, 114, 111, 118, 120, 65, 64, 106, 85, 120, 103, 64, 68, 119, 71, 72, 118, 112, 103, 96, 121, 76, 70, 88, 89, 121, 110, 72, 97, 95, 113, 118, 79, 114, 89, 87, 96, 108, 122, 82, 108, 107, 70, 78, 103, 88, 99, 86, 80, 88, 122, 81, 88, 86, 123, 78, 124, 100, 65, 111, 107, 84, 121, 99, 79, 78, 75, 105, 71, 115, 101, 94, 118, 92, 118, 79, 82, 80, 104, 113, 127, 90, 104, 126, 110, 99, 88, 75, 100, 102, 94, 92, 66, 90, 93, 88, 88, 65, 82, 122, 67, 111, 109, 127, 127, 92, 102, 112, 104, 111, 120, 112, 76, 83, 74, 76, 96, 120, 125, 64, 111, 127, 65, 78, 94, 122, 93, 111, 91, 86, 127, 109, 118, 87, 69, 65, 85, 110, 89, 89, 69, 123, 96, 100, 94, 65, 85, 72, 91, 78, 97, 103, 70, 83, 86, 67, 76, 113, 85, 71, 127, 122, 91, 127, 101, 107, 83, 87, 107, 80, 116, 73, 73, 125, 126, 112, 78, 80, 85, 79, 86, 89, 91, 96, 73, 84, 68, 116, 67, 112, 113, 88, 90, 64, 99, 105, 109, 79, 80, 107, 83, 101, 97, 79, 121, 91, 87, 74, 78, 122, 112, 96, 119, 87, 84, 93, 93, 80, 105, 106, 90, 124, 116, 72, 92, 119, 102, 89, 97, 107, 101, 75, 113, 99, 92, 112, 91, 108, 72, 124, 90, 69, 105, 83, 120, 120, 95, 118, 72, 95, 73, 88, 75, 90, 83, 68, 125, 125, 113, 68, 64, 65, 124, 85, 125, 83, 86, 86, 99, 87, 96, 83, 116, 81, 117, 65, 110, 123, 75, 78, 99, 110, 97, 88, 92, 81, 88, 98, 98, 105, 85, 83, 80, 67, 88, 119, 118, 95, 120, 127, 99, 110, 78, 70, 110, 66, 74, 76, 74, 109, 72, 98, 93, 106, 114, 99, 86, 124, 105, 69, 66, 106, 66, 104, 83, 93, 87, 119, 116, 117, 72, 114, 73, 84, 71, 83, 66, 124, 127, 89, 65, 96, 77, 108, 90, 75, 113, 112, 88, 118, 79, 72, 68, 65, 125, 123, 103, 67, 64, 84, 100, 114, 102, 105, 93, 96, 121, 80, 111, 68, 100, 107, 116, 64, 85, 104, 89, 126, 115, 84, 64, 80, 94, 114, 97, 105, 93, 88, 123, 111, 120, 98, 94, 96, 108, 77, 81, 70, 113, 110, 110, 95, 116, 114, 113, 94, 89, 116, 126, 110, 118, 65, 117, 98, 96, 97, 113, 100, 121, 102, 108, 106, 70, 73, 109, 67, 108, 97, 79, 65, 83, 127, 100, 101, 120, 114, 127, 93, 93, 79, 102, 105, 101, 69, 120, 107, 103, 81, 79, 116, 76]