I built my Stratocaster, “Carmen” to look like Pee Wee Crayton’s 1954 Stratocaster.
Connie Curtis Crayton (December 18, 1914 – June 25, 1985) was known as Pee Wee Crayton. He was an amazing guy. He was an R&B star by 1951, learned from T-Bone Walker, and developed his own style of aggressive guitar and smooth vocals. In 1948, he signed a contract with Modern Records. His first recording was the instrumental “Blues after Hours”, which reached #1 in the Billboard R&B charts late that year. He was copied by many later blues guitarists.
Leo Fender gave Pee Wee a Stratocaster and a Twin amp in 1954. The guitar is thought to be the first custom-color Stratocaster, either Studebaker red or Fiesta red. This was the first time a blues guitarist played a Stratocaster, and may be the first Stratocaster ever recorded.
The 1954 Stratocaster had pickup covers made of polystyrene (not Bakelite, as many people think), and they wore very easily. Pee Wee Crayton’s Neck and middle pickup covers were pretty much worn through by his heavy playing. The anodized aluminum pickguard is also heavily worn.
Not often remembered today, Pee Wee Crayton greatly impacted the direction of blues and rock and roll music. Those who he influenced include Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Lowell Fulson, Gatemouth Brown and B.B. King.
Carmen played through the '66 Deluxe Reverb, Note Toby at the end...
Carmen is a reproduction of Pee Wee Crayton's 1954 custom Color Stratocaster - one of the first custom Strats made by Fender. The original may have been a Studebaker red, or a faded Fiesta red. Anodized gold aluminum pickguard, maple neck, '57 / '62 pickups. She plays as good as she looks.
The pickup covers aren't worn through, yet, so this is an "early condition" reproduction.
Carmen has Fender Reproduction bridge saddles, and an old 2-part tremolo.
Heavy road-worn hardware, neck and body. Looks like she has been played hard for 50 years.