The Story Of Peetie Wheatstraw & His Songs
by Paul Garon
Blue-singer, songwriter, piano and guitar player, William Bunch (1902-1941) was well-known as Peetie Wheatstraw, the Devil's Son-in-Law and the High Sheriff from Hell. Long recognized by connoisseurs as one of the most influential blues people of all time, his life and work are little known to the broad public. Blues scholar Paul Garon's important and abundantly illustrated study – drawing on his own extensive interviews with Wheatstraw's relatives, and fellow musicians – brings the exciting Whatstraw saga to life at last. With insight and imagination, Garon explores Peetie Wheatstraw's crucial role not only in blues history, but also in African American urban mythology, and – via a penetrating analysis of song lyrics – his appreciable contributions to blues poetry and to vernacular surrealism. Originally published in the UK in 1971, this substantially revised and expanded edition includes a mass of new information and images, as well as an updated bibliography, discography and index. Also included is a 24-track CD portraying Peetie at his best, with a bonus track by Harmon Ray, the previously unissued Xmas Blues!