"Mercury Boogie"
KC Douglas Mercury Boogie.jpg
Single by K. C. Douglas Trio
B-side"Eclipse of the Sun"
LabelDown Town
Songwriter(s)K. C. Douglas, Robert Geddins

"Mercury Blues" is a song written by rural blues musician 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 marque, which ended production in 2010.[2][3]

The song has been covered among others by the Steve Miller Band (1967, at The Monterey International Pop Festival, and 1976, on their album, Fly Like an Eagle), David Lindley (1981), the Finn Pave Maijanen (1987), Roy Rogers with Norton Buffalo (1992), Alan Jackson (1993), Jimmy Thackery (1994), Meat Loaf (2003) and Dwight Yoakam (2004). Maijanen's version in Finnish is named "Pakko saada BMW" (meaning Gotta get a BMW), but Maijanen has performed the song as "Mercury Blues" live as well.[4] 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 blues version appeared on Jackson Browne's Love Is Strange: En Vivo Con Tino (2010), backed by David Lindley.

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."[5]

Part of the lyrics from the Steve Miller Band cover of the song, along with parts of lyrics from other songs involving cars, were incorporated as chapter openers in the 1983 Stephen King novel, Christine.

Alan Jackson version

"Mercury Blues"
Single by Alan Jackson
from the album A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'bout Love)
B-side"Tropical Depression"
ReleasedSeptember 13, 1993
RecordedMay 26, 1992[6]
GenreCountry, rockabilly[7]
Songwriter(s)K. C. Douglas
Robert Geddins
Producer(s)Keith Stegall
Alan Jackson singles chronology
"Mercury Blues"
"(Who Says) You Can't Have It All"

American country music artist Alan Jackson recorded the song for his album, A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'bout Love).[8] 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.[9][10]

Critical reception

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."[11]

Music video

The music video was directed by Piers Plowden and premiered in mid-1993.[12] Keith Urban makes an appearance in the video as a guitar player.[13]

In popular culture

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."[14] Jackson performed the original "Mercury" version of the song live "in-studio" on an episode of the hit ABC sitcom Home Improvement in 1996.[15] The David Lindley version appeared on the "Florence Italy" episode of Miami Vice on February 14, 1986.[16]

Chart positions

Chart (1993) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[17] 2
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[18] 2

Year-end charts

Chart (1993) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[19] 29


  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. ^ "Albert Järvinen Band: Mercury Blues [Live] [HQ], Live in Tampere (1989)". YouTube.com. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  5. ^ Allmusic biography
  6. ^ The Greatest Hits Collection (CD). Alan Jackson. Arista Records. 1995. 07822 18801.((cite AV media notes)): CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  7. ^ Thomas Harrison (16 June 2011). Music of the 1990s. ABC-CLIO. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-313-37943-7.
  8. ^ Jurek, Thom. "A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'Bout Love) review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  9. ^ "Alan Jackson - Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  10. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for December 11, 1993". RPM. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  11. ^ CountryUniverse.net Song review
  12. ^ "CMT : Videos : Alan Jackson : Mercury Blues". Country Music Television. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  13. ^ Edwards, Amy (February 25, 2011). "Alan Jackson picked Keith Urban for his looks". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ ""Miami Vice" Florence Italy (TV Episode 1986)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2324." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. December 11, 1993. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  18. ^ "Alan Jackson Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1993". RPM. December 18, 1993. Retrieved August 5, 2013.