Jul 22, 2012

Big Maceo Merriweather

"Worried Life Blues”, 1941, Big Maceo Merriweather

from the album Flying Boogie, Vol. 1: 1941-1945 Document 5673 (2004)

audio via  audio link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vKHY0sxyZI


"Chicago Breakdown”, 1945, Big Maceo Merriweather

from the album Big City Blues, Vol. 2: 1945-1950 Document 5674 (2004)

audio via  audio link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wadjOl88o-0

Big Maceo Merriweather (31 marzo 1905 − 23 febrero 1953) fue un pianista y cantante estadounidense de blues de Chicago, que actúa en Chicago en la década de 1940.

Nacido Major Merriweather (o Merewether) en Atlanta, Georgia, Estados Unidos, era un pianista autodidacta. En la década de 1920 se trasladó a Detroit, Michigan y comenzó a tocar fiestas y clubes. En 1941, un deseo de grabar lo llevó a Chicago, donde conoció y se hizo amigo de Tampa Red. Red le presentó a Lester Melrose de Bluebird Records, con quien lo firmó a un contrato de grabación.

Su primer disco fue "Worried Life Blues" (1941), que rápidamente se convirtió en un blues éxito y siguió siendo su melodia característica. Otras grabaciones clásicas de blues para piano como "Chicago Breakdown", "Texas Stomp" y "Detroit Jump" siguió. Su estilo pianístico desarrollado a partir de músicos como Leroy Carr y Roosevelt Sykes, así como del estilo boogie-woogie de Meade Lux Lewis y Albert Ammons. Él a su vez influyó a otros músicos como Henry Gray, quien acredita Merriweather que le ayuden a lanzar su carrera como pianista de blues.

Su estilo tuvo un impacto en prácticamente todos los reconocidos pianistas de blues tras la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Su canción más famosa, "Worried Life Blues" es un elemento básico del repertorio de blues, y artistas como Eric Clapton se presenta regularmente en conciertos. "Worried Life Blues" fue en la primera tanda de canciones incluidos en el Blues Hall of Fame junto a "Stormy Monday", "Sweet Home Chicago", "Dust My Broom" y "Hellhound On My Trail."

Su carrera se vio truncada en 1946 por un derrame. La mala salud y una vida de consumo excesivo de alcohol condujo a un ataque cardíaco fatal. Murió el 23 de febrero de 1953 en Chicago y fue enterrado en el Cementerio Memorial de Detroit en Warren, Michigan.

Wikipedia


Big Maceo Merriweather (March 31, 1905 – February 23, 1953) was an American Chicago blues pianist and singer active in Chicago in the 1940s.

Born Major Merriweather (or Merewether) in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, he was a self-taught pianist. In the 1920s he moved to Detroit, Michigan and began playing celebrations 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 song. 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 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 concert. "Worried Life Blues" was in the first batch of songs inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame  alongside "Stormy Monday," 'Sweet Home Chicago”, "Dust My Broom”, and "Hellhound On My Trail."

His career was cut short in 1946 by a stroke. Poor health and a lifetime of heavy drinking eventually led to a fatal heart attack. He died on February 23, 1953, in Chicago, and was interred at the Detroit Memorial Cemetery in Warren, Michigan.

Wikipedia


Flying Boogie, Vol. 1: 1941-1945 Document 5673 (2004)

Crown Collection The Penguin Guide To Blues Recordings, Tony Russell and Chris Smith, 2006

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Big City Blues, Vol. 2: 1945-1950 Document 5674 (2004)

Crown Collection The Penguin Guide To Blues Recordings, Tony Russell and Chris Smith, 2006

Buy At Amazon

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