Ignored Obscured Restored
Today’s SotW revives the “evolution series” that I haven’t presented in a very long time. The featured song is “Mercury Blues.”
Written and first recorded by KC Douglas (and Robert Geddins) in 1948 as “Mercury Boogie”, the song was a tribute to the automobile.
The song languished in relative obscurity until it was given a facelift by Steve Miller on his multi-platinum 1976 album, Fly Like an Eagle.
The definitive, modern version was recorded by David Lindley – the el supremo session musician that has worked extensively with Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and Warren Zevon – on his underappreciated solo album, El Rayo-Ex (1981).
Though the disc peaked at a modest #83 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart, “Mercury Blues” was selected as a single and reached #38 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
“Mercury Blues” has been recorded by many other artists including country stars Dwight Yoakam and Alan Jackson.
Rights to the song were purchased by the Ford Motor Company (who already owned the Mercury marque). Ford, in turn, 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.”
The Mercury division of Ford was retired in 2011.
Enjoy… until next week.