From the Vault...


Pee Wee King
"Pee Wee King's Country Hoedown"

© Bloodshot Revival/Soundie Records

Year of Release: 1999

track listing
Disc One:
  • This Is Pee Wee King
  • I Love The Way You Roll
    Them Eyes At Me
  • The Reason I'm In Love
    With You
  • Ramblin' Blues
  • I'm Goin' Back To The
    Middle Of The
    Middle West
  • One Way Street
  • I'll Never Love No One
    But You
  • You Tried To Ruin
    My Name
  • Get Together Polka
  • Rootin' Tootin' Santa Claus
  • There's A Moon
    In The Sky
  • Slowpoke
  • Empty Vows
  • Oh Monah
  • Blow Out All The Candles
  • Between You And The
    Birds And The Bees
    And Cupid
  • Western Limited
  • Brother Drop Dead Boogie
  • Doghouse Blues
  • Cowboy Special
  • Steel Guitar waltz
  • 'Tain't What You Want
  • Hog Wild Too
  • I Don't Know Why
    I Should Love You
  • Postage Due
  • Subdued Wood
  • If And When
  • We've Just About
    Reached The
    Half-Way Point
    Disc Two:
  • Fool's Gold
  • Silver And Gold
  • Sweetest Little Girl
  • Darling Don't Cry
  • Flower Of Texas
  • I Wanna Say Hello
  • Let Me Hold You
    When You're Blue
  • Where Oh Where Has
    My Little Love Gone
  • I Need A Lot Of Lovin'
  • Where Were You
    Last Night
  • I'm Just A Gad-About
  • Song Of The Early Settlers
  • Take These Shackles
    From My Heart
  • The Calendar Song
  • Don't Apologize To Me
  • Charleston Alley
  • Opportunity
  • Rich In Love
  • I Can't Feel Those Kisses
    In Your Letters
  • Mohegas
  • Tadpole
  • Your Kisses Aren't
    Kisses Anymore
  • Tennessee Tango
  • Darling Stop Playing
    With My Heart
  • Tears Tears Tears
  • There's That Man
    With The Stopwatch

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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    Pee Wee King
    "Pee Wee King's Country Hoedown"

    A coincidence: On November 25, 1951, Country artist Pee Wee King reached #1 on the (Billboard) Country Songs chart with "Slowpoke." It would remain at #1 for 14 weeks, and would be his only #1 Country song of his career. On November 21, 2012, the album Pee Wee King's Country Hoedown became WSVNRadio's 1,335th Album Pick of the Week.

    Pee Wee King's real name was Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski, born on February 18, 1914, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father was a polka musician, who taught Julius how to play the fiddle. King toured with Gene Autry and appeared in Autry's movies in the 1930s. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1937. He,along with Redd Stewart composed "The Tennessee Waltz," which became a Country music standard, and was recorded by Patti Page. Page's version would become one of the most famous songs in popular music.

    Gene Autry, along with J.L. (Joe) Frank, became King's mentors. (Joe Frank would later become his father-in-law. Standing at just below 5'7", Frank offered his stage first name, Pee Wee. The last name King would be from the influence of a Polish-American musician, Wayne King. By 1934, King was a member of Log Cabin Boys, as they toured with Gene Autry. In late 1936, he would be in a new band, The Golden West Cowboys, and remained with them for about ten years. From 1947 to 1952, Pee Wee King saw the heyday of his career: He had co-written "The Tennesse Waltz," Other huge hits would follow, as he co-wrote them: "Bonaparte's Retreat," "Slow Poke" and "You Belong To Me." (Surprisingly, both "Bonaparte's Retreat" and "You Belong To Me" are not included on the Country Hoedown CD.)

    The recordings heard on Country Hoedown were made in about 1952 for Standard Radio Transcription Services and were designed for sale or lease to radio stations around the country. The music here assumes sharper perspective when it is recalled that the early 1950s was the era of Hank Williams and his deep-dyed honky tonk sound, and of Bill Monroe and his bold experimentaqtions with the emerging bluegrass sound. It was also the heday of cheating and drinking songs in country music. Nothing of these styles and none of those sound appear in the music of Pee Wee King. The Golden West Cowboys were a versatile band with an ecletric repertory, but their music was essentially a smooth, well-executed version of Western Swing, closer in spirit and arrangement to Spade Cooley than to the music made by Bob Wills. There are no cheating or honky tonk songs here (except perhaps for "Doghouse Blues"), and certainly nothing that can be described as cry-in-your-beer music. In the program notes that accompanied the transciptions sent to radio stations, prospective djs are cautioned to listen to "Sweetest Little Girl" (a song that comments on divorce) before they play it.
    From the liner notes of Pee Wee King's Country Hoedown; by Bill C. Malone.

    Pee Wee King's years of activity in Country music was from 1948 - 1954. He may not be a household name, but I'm sure he is an inspiration to all fans of Country music, young and old.

    Yes, it's true about Pee Wee King's sound: It's not honky tonk as in Hank Williams Sr. No real "depression" songs, such as cheating and drinking. This is "happy-go-lucky" Country. Gene Autry, and the early Eddy Arnold come to mind while listening to this 2-disc set. There are some short "jingles" at the beginning, middle and end of this set -- very good for use on DJ radio shows. There isn't one bad song on this set. Even the instrumentals (as few as they are) are quite impressive to listen to.

    Not many other albums of Pee Wee King's music is available on CD, as this was the only one I could find. (I just looked again, and there is a 6-cd box set from Bear Family Records, entitled Pee Wee King And His Golden West Cowboys.) "Slowpoke" could be that of a novelty. Back then, most of Country tunes were of comedic nature, until the cheating and drinking themes went in full tilt.

    Pee Wee King would later be inducted in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1970), and the Country Hall of Fame (1974). He passed away of a heart attack on March 7, 2000. He was 86 years old.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bloodshot Revival/Soundies Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1334
    EMF--Schubert Dip
    Next Review: #1336
    Susan Tedeschi--Just Won't Burn