K. C. Douglas

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K. C. Douglas (November 21, 1913 — October 18, 1975[1]) was an American blues singer and guitarist.


Born in Sharon, Mississippi, Douglas was a rural blues stylist in the San Francisco/Oakland area of California. Douglas was influenced by Tommy Johnson,[1] whose "Canned Heat Blues" he adapted on his album, Big Road Blues. Douglas produced a blues classic when he recorded "Mercury Boogie" (later renamed "Mercury Blues") in 1949. The song was covered by Steve Miller, David Lindley and Dwight Yoakam. Alan Jackson had a number one hit when he recorded the tune in 1992. Meat Loaf also covered the song as a bonus hidden track that appears on his 2003 album Couldn't Have Said It Better. The Ford Motor Company purchased rights to the song and used it in a TV commercial.[1]

In the early 1960s Douglas recorded "Born in the Country," "Catfish Blues," "Fanny Lou," "Hear Me Howlin'," "K.C.'s Doctor Blues," and "Wake Up Workin' Woman" for Chris Strachwitz, mostly released on Strachwitz's Arhoolie Records and the Prestige Bluesville label. In 1961, Douglas played guitar on Sidney Maiden's album, Trouble An' Blues, thus reuniting a partnership that had started in the 1940s.[2]

Douglas played at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1973 and 1974. He formed a quartet that performed in the East Bay/Modesto/Stockton area.[1]

Douglas died of a heart attack in Berkeley, California in October 1975, and was buried in the Pleasant Green Cemetery in Sharon, Mississippi.[1]


While in his thirties and working at a garage, Douglas taught blues guitar to Steve Wold, the grandson of his employer.[3][4]

Selected discography[edit]

Year Title Genre Label
1952 K.C. Douglas: A Dead Beat Guitar and the Mississippi Blues Blues Cook Records/Smithsonian Folkways
1961 K.C.'s Blues Blues Bluesville Records/Original Blues Classics
1994 Mercury Blues (reissued) Blues Arhoolie Records
1994 Big Road Blues (reissued) Blues OBC Records
2006 Classic African-American Ballads Blues Smithsonian Folkways


  1. ^ a b c d e Allmusic biography
  2. ^ Al Campbell. "Sidney Maiden". Allmusic. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ Interview with Seasick Steve on The Paul O'Grady Show on YouTube October 2008
  4. ^ Op de Beeck, Geert (2007-02-16), "Humo's Pop Poll de Luxe: goed gerief van Seasick Steve", HUMO NR 3467: 158 

External links[edit]