Mary, Mary (song)

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"Mary, Mary"
Single by The Monkees
from the album More of the Monkees
B-side "What am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?"
Released 1968
Recorded Monday July 25, 1966 at Western Recorders Hollywood
Genre Pop
Writer(s) Michael Nesmith
Producer(s) Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart

"Mary, Mary" is a song written by Michael Nesmith. It was first recorded by The Butterfield Blues Band for their 1966 album, East-West. The Monkees, featuring Nesmith, would later record the song themselves. The rap group, Run–D.M.C., revived the song in the late 1980s with a cover version that hit the R&B and pop charts in the United States.

The Butterfield Blues Band version[edit]

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was the first group to record and release the song commercially, featured as a track on their 1966 album East-West. In addition to Butterfield, musicians to play on the track include Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. Curiously, no songwriter credit is listed for "Mary, Mary" on East-West.[1]

The Monkees version[edit]

On July 25, 1966, Nesmith produced and recorded the song for the The Monkees at Western Recorders in Hollywood, California. Micky Dolenz sang lead, and Mike used the crack group of session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew to beef up their sound, including; James Burton, Glen Campbell, Al Casey, Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon, Michael Deasy and Larry Knechtel. Their version was released on the album More of the Monkees in 1967 and became a number five hit in Australia in 1968.

Personnel[edit]

Appearances on The Monkees[edit]

"Mary, Mary" was featured in five episodes of the television series, The Monkees, in 1966 and 1967.

  • "I've Got a Little Song Here" (Airdate: November 28, 1966)
  • "Find The Monkees" (Airdate: January 23, 1967)
  • "The Prince & the Paupers" (Airdate: February 6, 1967)
  • "Alias Micky Dolenz" (Airdate: March 6, 1967)
  • "Monkees On Tour" (Airdate: April 24, 1967)

Run–D.M.C. version[edit]

"Mary, Mary"
Single by Run–D.M.C.
from the album Tougher Than Leather
B-side Rock Box
Released March 8, 1988
Format CD, Vinyl, Cassette
Recorded 1987
Genre Hip hop, rap rock
Length 3:12
Label Profile Records
Writer(s) Michael Nesmith
Producer(s) Rick Rubin, Run–D.M.C.
Run–D.M.C. singles chronology
"I'm Not Going Out Like That"
(1988)
"Mary, Mary"
(1988)
"Run's House"
(1988)

Run–D.M.C. covered "Mary, Mary" in a rap rock version, and it was released as a single from their fourth album, Tougher Than Leather, in 1988. It was released by Profile Records and produced by the group along with Rick Rubin. It was their most successful single from the album, being the only one to make it to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 75, and peaking at number 29 on the Hot Black Singles chart.

Run-D.M.C. changed the line "Mary, Mary, where ya' goin' to" to "Mary, Mary, why ya' buggin'". Although Run-D.M.C. replaced Michael Nesmith's original lyrics with a new set of lyrics of their own, Nesmith was the only writer credited on Run-D.M.C.'s single. Run-D.M.C.'s version samples Micky Dolenz singing the title from the Monkees' recording.

Track listing[edit]

A-side
  1. "Mary, Mary" – 3:12
B-side
  1. "Mary, Mary" (Instrumental) – 3:12
  2. "Rock Box" – 5:28

References[edit]