Big Maceo

Big Maceo Merriweather (March 31, 1905 - February 23, 1953) was a blues pianist and singer active in Chicago in the 1940s. Born Major Merriweather (or Merewether) in Atlanta, Georgia, he taught himself how to play piano. In the 1920s he moved to Detroit and began playing parties and clubs. In 1941, a desire to record led him to Chicago where he met and befriended Tampa Red. Red introduced him to Lester Melrose of Bluebird Records, who signed him to a recording contract. 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 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. His career was cut short in 1946 by a stroke. However, he was one of the most 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 most famous song, Worried Life Blues is a staple of the blues repertoire, with artists such as Eric Clapton featuring it regularly in performances. Big Maceo is also on as Big Maceo Merriweather. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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