Meade Lux Lewis

Meade Anderson "Lux" Lewis ( born September 3, 1905 in Chicago, Illinois, † June 7, 1964 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) was an American jazz pianist and composer, pioneer of Boogie Woogie.

Life and work

The date of birth of Lewis is depending on the source of 3rd, 4th or 13th September 1905. During his youth his model was the pianist Jimmy Yancey, with whom he was friends. Probably he also received lessons from his friend Pinetop Smith. Lewis played in pubs and clubs in Chicago, retired to his success with Honky Tonk Train Blues 1929 but returned.

Lewis made ​​his first recordings in 1927, but until 1936 sat a success, as it brought promoter John Hammond to New York and from 1938 presented in his "From Spirituals to Swing " concerts with Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson. Hammond had tracked him in 1935 when he worked as a car washer in a garage in Chicago. His performances at Carnegie Hall ( and Club Café Society ) initiated a boogie -woogie boom. Together with his fellow players Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson, Lewis was one of the leading boogie-woogie pianists of his time. He made the late 1930s recordings with both, and, for example, with Sidney Bechet and Edmond Hall. He later worked mostly in Los Angeles, but was quite forgotten in the music scene. Meade "Lux " Lewis died in 1964 in a car accident in Minneapolis.

Together with Ammons deserves the merit of being the first musician in 1939 resulting records of the young jazz label Blue Note Records.

Legacy: Honky Tonk Train Blues

Lewis' title Honky Tonk Train Blues has become a standard and Boogie was recorded and played by many pianists. These include Jean -Paul Amouroux, Keith Emerson, Jay McShann, Lloyd Glenn, Jörg Hegemann, Gene Phillips, Michael Pewny, Gene Taylor, Tim Wheals and Axel Zwingenberger as well as numerous jazz versions, including Benny Goodman and the SWR Big band.

Leo v. Knobelsdorffstraße (the " father of the German Boogie Woogie " ) referred to this as the Blues ' starting point for the great boogie-woogie revival in 1938/39 at Carnegie Hall "; so went the boogie woogie wave going on.


  • The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis ( Mosaic - 1983) - solo piano