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Big Maceo Merriweather biography



Big Maceo Merriweather (March 31, 1905 - February 23, 1953) was an American blues pianist and singer, active in Chicago in the 1940s. Career Born Major Merriweather (or Merewether) in Atlanta, Georgia, His first record was "Worried Life Blues" (1941), which promptly became a blues hit and remained his signature piece. Other classic piano blues recordings such as "Chicago Breakdown", "Texas Stomp", and "Detroit Jump" followed. His piano style developed from players like Leroy Carr and Roosevelt Sykes, as well as from the Boogie-woogie style of Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons. He in turn influenced other musicians like Henry Gray, who credits Merriweather to helping him launch his career as a blues pianist. His career was cut short in 1946 by a stroke. However, he was an influential blues piano players of the 1940s and his style had an impact on practically every post World War II blues pianist of note. His sparse recordings for Bluebird were released in a double album set as Chicago Breakdown, in 1975. They have since been reissued on a variety of labels. In 2002 he was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.