Pie Plant Pete

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b. Claud J. Moye, 9 July 1906, on a farm, near Shawneetown, Gallatin County, Illinois, USA, d. 7 February 1988. He learned to play guitar as a child and in his early teens, added harmonica. In 1927, with…
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Artist Biography by

b. Claud J. Moye, 9 July 1906, on a farm, near Shawneetown, Gallatin County, Illinois, USA, d. 7 February 1988. He learned to play guitar as a child and in his early teens, added harmonica. In 1927, with a considerable repertoire of the old-time songs his mother sang, he relocated to Chicago and made his professional debut on WLS on 5 May. Using a frame, he played harmonica and guitar together, calling the combination his ‘two-cylinder cob-crusher’. He called himself Pie Plant Pete (for comedy reasons) and soon proved popular with WLS listeners. Between 1929 and 1934, after receiving a better offer, he became a regular on WTAM Cleveland. In 1929/30, he recorded 26 sides for Gennett and had releases on Superior as Jerry Wallace and on Champion as Asparagus Joe. Between 1934 and 1936, he made further recordings for Decca Records and ARC. In 1936, he began to work with Joe Troyan (Bashful Harmonica Joe), whom he had first met in Cleveland in 1935. They worked stations in Cleveland, Boston and Rochester, before their career was interrupted by World War II. Pete served briefly in the Quartermaster Corps but was discharged due to his age and he and Joe resumed their partnership at Cleveland until 1942, when Joe was drafted into the US Air Force. After the war, they relaunched their partnership working at Cleveland, Rochester and Detroit. In 1947, they recorded 20 sides for Process records of Buffalo, New York, which were released as 10 singles. They eventually parted and Pete worked on children’s television before opening a company that produced radio jingles for advertising products in Ridgeway, Illinois. He died in 1988 and is buried in the Asbury Cemetery, Omaha, Illinois. It would appear that none of his early recordings have been reissued, but in 1989, Cattle Records of Germany issued an album containing all the Process recordings.