Steel guitar virtuoso and session musician Wayma “Pee Wee” Whitewing was born February 11, 1934, in Concer, OK. Pee Wee is best known for his efforts with Hank Thompson’s ‘Brazos Valley Boys’.
In 1941, the Whitewing family relocated to Santa Clara, CA, and this was where Pee-Wee received his first lap steel guitar, a chrome Rickenbacker. Pee Wee’s first performances where played in his Pentecostal church choir. Pee Wee made his professional debut in 1946 with ‘Tex Randall & the Texans”; with whom he played daily performances on their KEEN radio broadcast.
While doing session work with honky tonk legend, Lefty Frizzell, Pee Wee befriended Cajun fiddler, Abe Manuel, who helped him get a spot with ‘Blackie Crawford & the Western Cherokees in mid-1951’. Alongside Crawford, Pee Wee backed several country acts, gaining him exposure and catching the eye of Thompson’s manager, Billy Gray, who was on the hunt for a new steel guitarist for the group ‘Brazos Valley Boys’.
Pee Wee made his recording debut in 1952 when he collaborated with some of Thompson’s other artist in a session that gave birth to songs like “Rub-a-Dub-Dub” and “I’ll Sign Your Heart Away.” In 1953, Pee Wee left ‘the Brazos Valley Boys’ for a short period, before rejoining the group six months later after hearing that Thompson had announced plans to pursue a more big band-influenced sound.
Pee Wee remained with the ‘Brazos Valley Boys’ for a further two years, appearing on tracks like “We’ve Gone Too Far to Turn Back Now”. The group would fade away and Pee Wee moved to the San Jose area to raise a family. Pee Wee would go onto become a highly sought after studio musician, and appeared on countless sessions produced by the legendary J.D. Miller.
Pee Wee walked away from music in 1971 to pursue other business opportunities. For two decades his steel guitar sat collecting dust. He picked it up again during the ‘90’s when he, and fellow steel guitar legend Bobby White regularly appeared at steel guitar conventions across the U.S.