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Leon "Pee Wee" Whittaker

1906 - 1993Leon

1906 - 1993
Leon "Peewee" Whittaker was born
about 35 miles north of Ferriday,
near Newellton, Louisiana. He
studied music as a child and received
instruction on clarinet, trombone,
guitar, string bass, and mandolin.
From 1919 until his death in 1993,
Whittaker performed with minstrel
shows, carnival bands, swing
orchestras, and rhythm-and-blues
groups. He played alongside some of
the top musicians in the country,
including Louis Armstrong, Louis
Jordan, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
From 1935 until 1950, Peewee was
a member of F.S. Wolcott's Rabbit Foot
Minstrels. This popular traveling
show was made up of black performers
who played an important part in the
development of many musical styles,
including blues, jazz, and rock-and-
roll. During the last 20 years of his
life, Peewee lived in Ferriday and
was a key member of the great
Natchez blues band, Hezekiah and
the House Rockers.

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