Peetie Wheatstraw/





Sometimes called “The Devil’s Son-in-Law”, blues pianist, guitarist and vocalist Peetie Wheatstraw was born in Ripley, Tennessee, in 1902 but was raised on a cotton plantation in Arkansas. Real name William Bunch, he adopted the name Peetie Wheatstraw when he moved to East St. Louis when he was 29 years old, taking the name from an old folk story. He was already a fine pianist when he arrived in East St.Louis and he quickly established himself as part of the local blues scene. Over the next few years he collaborated with a number of artists including Bumble Bee Slim, Kokomo Arnold, Charlie McCoy, Blind Teddy Darby and Charley Jordan, but primarily with Lonnie Johnson. Moving between East St. Louis, Chicago and New York, he recorded with all these artists throughout the 1930’s, on Vocalion, Bluebird and Decca, and his records sold well. Tragically at the height of his success he was killed in East St. Louis (on his birthday, aged 39) whilst going over a railway crossing when a train hit his car.

Sweet Home Blues