This is the latest from The Bluesmobile’s C.C. Rider, who spends her life venerating the founding fathers of the blues. She’s walked the crooked highways of this singing country to resurrect the voices of the past. With the dirt of the Delta on her hands, she sleeps in the shadow of the giants on whose shoulders popular music now stands.
Big Maceo Merriweather
(March 31, 1905 – February 23, 1953)
He was born Major Merriweather in Atlanta, Georgia. By the time he migrated to the Motor City in 1924, he was already a talented self-taught pianist. And by 1941, when he moved to Chicago for his first recording session, he was pretty much unmatched. He cut 14 tracks that first day for Bluebird Records. Some on his own and some with the legendary Tampa Red. That session was enough to change the face, or fingers, of blues piano. See, Big Maceo’s thundering 88’s inspired later greats like Henry Gray and Otis Spann. So even though Maceo’s career was tragically cut short by a stroke that paralyzed his right side, he managed to leave a legacy to be thankful for. Here’s a track that’ll give you an idea of just how good Maceo was. Brace yourself for some real boogie woogie. From 1945, Chicago piano master Big Maceo, with “Chicago Breakdown.”