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Max Merritt

Max Merritt (born in Christchurch, New Zealand on 30 April 1941) is a New Zealand-born singer, songwriter and musician who is renowned as an interpreter of soul music and R&B. He rose to prominence in New Zealand in the late 1950s and early 1960s before relocating to Australia in the mid-1960s. Backed by his band The Meteors, he was widely acknowledged as one of the best local performers of his day; his influence did much to popularise those styles in Australia at a time when they were rarely heard on commercial radio.

Max became interested in music at an early age and started taking guitar lessons at twelve. In the mid-50s he discovered rock'n'roll and fell under the spell of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley. In 1956, just after leaving school at 15, he formed The Meteors with friends Ross Clancy (sax), Peter Patene (piano), Ian Glass (bass) and Pete Sowden (drums). They started out as a part-time group, playing at dances and at charity concerts at the local Odeon theatre. Over the next six years the band played many such shows, raising thousands of dollars for local charities. During the day Max worked his apprenticeship in his father's bricklaying business.

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