Big Maceo Merriweather

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Big Maceo Merriweather (born March 31, 1905 in Atlanta , † February 23, 1953 in Chicago ), actually Major Merriweather , was an influential American blues pianist.

From an early age, Merriweather played piano in bars and at dance events in Atlanta . When he was 19, the family moved to Detroit , where Merriweather worked at Ford .

He married Hattie Spruel, with whom he moved to Chicago in 1941 . Here they met Big Bill Broonzy and Tampa Red , with whom Merriweather made his first recordings. Among the 14 recorded tracks was the Worried Life Blues , which would become Big Maceo Merriweather's most famous piece. Many greats of the blues, such as Eric Clapton , later added the title to their repertoire or used it in their own pieces (such as Little Walter and Muddy Waters ).

As a result, Merriweather and Tampa Red often played together, accompanied by drums and bass. This formation became the basic model for numerous subsequent groups, not just in the blues.

With the outbreak of the Second World War , the successful career was initially over. Merriweather moved back to Detroit, but continued to perform occasionally with his old colleagues in Chicago.

After the war, he began to perform more often again, but suffered a stroke in 1946 that paralyzed his right side. In his other appearances he had to be supported on the piano, for example by Eddie Boyd or Otis Spann .

In 1949 Big Maceo Merriweather had a second stroke. He died on February 23, 1953 after a heart attack in Chicago and was buried in Detroit. In 2002 Big Maceo Merriweather was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame , and his title Worried Life Blues was inducted into the Hall of Fame.