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Big Maceo’ Merriweather was one of the top bluesmen in Detroit from the mid-1920s to the late ‘40s. A fine singer and pianist Maceo worked often with guitarists ‘Big Bill’ Broonzy and Tampa Red cutting about 30 sides for RCA in the 1940s. BIG MACEO MERRIWEATHER

Being left-handed helped gave Big Maceo considerable strength in the bass, as he taught himself to play piano by ear and by listening to influential blues and boogie pianists like Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis and Roosevelt Sykes. His husky, smoky voice steeped in melancholy gave his Blues depth and conviction.

His “Worried Life Blues” became a blues classic. And though he was sidelined by a stroke in his forties, Big Maceo’s legacy remains strong, thanks to his mentoring Otis Spann and inspiring many of the greatest Chicago piano talents who followed.