Mercury Blues

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"Mercury Blues" is a song written by K. C. Douglas and Robert Geddins, and first recorded by Douglas in 1948.[1] The song, originally titled "Mercury Boogie," pays homage to the American automobile, which ended production in 2010.[2][3]

The song has been covered among others by the Steve Miller Band (1976, on their album, Fly Like an Eagle), David Lindley (1981), the Finn Pave Maijanen (1987), Alan Jackson (1993), Meat Loaf (2003) and Dwight Yoakam (2004). Lindley's version, from his 1981 album El Rayo-X, peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Meat Loaf's version appears as a hidden track at the end of his 2003 album Couldn't Have Said It Better. Dwight Yoakam's version appears on his 2002 boxed set, Reprise Please, Baby, and later on his 2004 compilation album, Dwight's Used Records. More recently, a lively, truly blues version appeared on Jackson Browne's "Love Is Strange" (2010), backed by David Lindley.

Rights to the song were purchased by the Ford Motor Company, which used it for a television commercial featuring Alan Jackson singing his version of the song with the word "Mercury" replaced by the words "Ford Truck." [4]

Alan Jackson version[edit]

"Mercury Blues"
Single by Alan Jackson
from the album A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'bout Love)
B-side "Tropical Depression"
Released September 13, 1993
Format CD single
7" 45 RPM
Recorded May 26, 1992[5]
Genre Country
Length 3:39
Label Arista
Writer(s) K. C. Douglas
Robert Geddins
Producer(s) Keith Stegall
Alan Jackson singles chronology
"Chattahoochee"
(1993)
"Mercury Blues"
(1993)
"(Who Says) You Can't Have It All"
(1994)

American country music singer Alan Jackson recorded the song for his album, A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'Bout Love).[6] It was released in September 1993 as the fourth single from the album. His version of the song peaked at number 2 on both the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart and the RPM Country Tracks in Canada.[7][8]

Critical reception[edit]

Kevin John Coryne of Country Universe gave the song a B grade, calling it "a throwaway track that ended up being a pretty big hit." He went on to say that it "might be the least essential Jackson hit of its era."[9]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Piers Plowden and premiered in mid-1993.[10] Keith Urban makes an appearance in the video as a guitar player.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

His rendition was used by the Ford Motor Company for Ford pickup truck commercials, changing the line "crazy 'bout a Mercury" to "crazy 'bout a Ford truck."[12] Jackson performed the original "Mercury" version of the song live "in-studio" on an episode of the hit ABC sitcom Home Improvement in 1996.[13] The David Lindley version appeared on the "Florence Italy" episode of Miami Vice on February 14, 1986. [14]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1993) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[15] 2
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[16] 2

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1993) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[17] 29

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leadbitter, M. and Slaven, N., Blues Records 1943 to 1970 Vol. 1: A-K, London: Record Information Services 2nd Ed. 1987, p. 362
  2. ^ "'It's time:' Ford to close Mercury by year's end - Drive On: A conversation about the cars and trucks we drive - USATODAY.com". Content.usatoday.com. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  3. ^ Maynard, Micheline (2010-06-02). "Ford Appears Ready to End Its Mercury Brand". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  4. ^ Allmusic biography
  5. ^ The Greatest Hits Collection (CD). Alan Jackson. Arista Records. 1995. 07822 18801. 
  6. ^ Jurek, Thom. "A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'Bout Love) review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Alan Jackson - Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  8. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for December 11, 1993". RPM. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ CountryUniverse.net Song review
  10. ^ "CMT : Videos : Alan Jackson : Mercury Blues". Country Music Television. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ Edwards, Amy (February 25, 2011). "Alan Jackson picked Keith Urban for his looks". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 201. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  13. ^ Diamond, Dave (February 20, 2012). "Brad Paisley Plays With Stock Cars, Alan Jackson Plays The Blues – Today In Country Music History". LoneStar 102.3. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  14. ^ imdb
  15. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2324." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. December 11, 1993. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  16. ^ "Alan Jackson Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Alan Jackson.
  17. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1993". RPM. December 18, 1993. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]