King of Soul Max Merritt Will Be Greatly Missed
Christchurch-born Max Merritt, the ARIA Hall of Fame inductee best known for his soulful songs “Slippin’ Away” and “Hey, Western Union Man”, has died in Los Angeles. He was 79.
Merritt made his mark when he formed The Meteors in the 1950s and reeled off a string of catchy rock ‘n’ roll numbers, including “Get a Haircut”, “Kiss Curl” and “C’mon Let’s Go”, Lars Brandle writes for Billboard.
Soon, Merritt and his band outgrew Christchurch and by 1962 they’d relocated to Auckland, and later, Australia, where he earned the moniker “King of Soul”. From the ‘70s he would call the United States home, Brandle writes.
He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2008 alongside Dragon, Russell Morris and The Triffids.
Wal Bishop, Merritt’s manager, shared the news of his death in a statement: “He really put up a great fight and will be sadly missed by all that knew and loved him.”
The late artist had been unable to perform live over the past 13 years but, “when he felt up to it, would go into the studio to record,” Bishop continues. “He even shot a video to go with the tracks, it’s a shame he won’t be around to see it.”
Original article by Lars Brandle, Billboard, September 25, 2020.