This ace ‘Boogie-Woogie’ pianist rose to national fame in the late 30’s when his rocking keyboard music was the current dance craze. Boogie-woogie had enjoyed some popularity in Chicago ten years earlier when Lux’s tune, ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’ was a hit and became a piano standard, but when the style went nationwide,  ‘Lux’ lived the high life in New York for quite a while, playing at the most fashionable venues.  Later he moved to the West Coast, where piano based R&B was popular, and he spent many years playing his piano in the sun and appearing in several films, until an automobile accident took his life while he was visiting family in the mid-West.

‘Lux’ was born in Chicago in 1905, and in the mid-20s he met up with fellow boogie player, friend and collaborator Albert Ammons. They shared an apartment in the same building as another talented young pianist ‘Pine-Top’ Smith, and all three men would jam together. Pine-Top had a big hit record in 1928, but when he was shot dead soon afterwards, Lux and Albert were left to carry the boogie-woogie torch. They had some regional success, but record sales nose-dived after the Wall St. crash, and Lux had to work a day-job in the 30s, with occasional gigs and session work.
Meade 'Lux' Lewis Discography
This is an excellent sampler of Meade’s work, recorded in 1961 when he was something of an Old Master, so the sound quality and playing is superb.


Hearing their early records, John Hammond invited Lux and Albert, to play at his seminal ‘Spirituals to Swing’ concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938, and the ‘Boogie Woogie’ craze was born. Kansas city singer Big Joe Turner and pianist Pete Johnson played that gig too and all three piano players stayed in New York to ride the wave of popularity, often playing spectacular piano duets. They then sold a lot of records and played every night for a few years, but when the tide went out, Lux moved to Los Angeles, where a new, post-WWII, piano-based Blues and R&B scene offered regular gigs. Lux continued to record and tour occasionally but was killed in an auto accident in Minneapolis in 1964.

Lux ramps up his theme tune for the Boogie Woogie Craze;