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Mercy Dee

With his barrelhouse-style piano playing, deeply expressive vocals, and well-crafted lyrics, Mercy Dee (born Mercy Walton) made his presence felt in the blues joints of California's San Joaquin Valley during the 1950s. His best known tune, "One Room Country Shack," has gone on to become a blues classic, covered by such artists as Mose Allison, Eddie Shaw, and Roy Buchanan.

Raised in rural Texas, Dee moved to Northern California in 1938. Recording for a variety of independent labels in 1949 and early '50s, including Imperial, Specialty, and Flair, he had first inkling of success with his debut single, "Lonesome Cabin Blues," which became a minor hit in 1949. "One Room Country Shack" followed four years later.

With the advent of rock & roll in the mid-'50s, the market for Dee's roots-oriented electric blues was diminished. Although he recorded a tune, "Come Back Maybelline," which supplied a satirical answer to Chuck Berry's "Maybelline" in 1955, and gained a boost when Mose Allison recorded "One Room Country Shack" two years later, Dee had left music almost completely by the late-'50s.

Tracked down by Chris Strachwitz, owner of the Arhoolie record label, in April 1961, Dee was coaxed into participating in four recording sessions of his music. While most tracks showcased Dee's solo piano playing and singing, others featured the accompaniment of rhythm guitarist K.C. Douglas, harmonica player Sidney Maiden, and drummer Otis Cherry. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Arhoolie 40th Anniversary Collection 1960 - 2000

Disc 1

1. San Francisco Bay Blues

2. Mercury Blues

3. Shake Shake Mama

4. Cairo Blues

6. One Thin Dime

7. Charmin' Betsy

9. I Am The Black Ace

10. Brother James

15. Bald Headed Woman

19. The Country Blues

20. Crowley Waltz

22. Ay, Ai Ai

23. Write Me A Few Lines

24. Charlie James

25. Louisiana Blues

Disc 2

1. Cindy

2. Little Red Rooster

6. I Wonder Where You Are Tonight

9. Sometimes I Cry

10. Two Bugs And A Roach

11. Dream

12. Things Gonna Get Better

13. Visions

17. Please Settle In Vietnam

18. Shake 'em On Down

21. Finger Lickin' Good

Disc 3

1. Church Point Breakdown

3. Gibson Creek Shuffle

5. You Ain't Got A Chance

7. Satan's Burning Hell

8. Luzita

12. Allons A Grand Coteau

15. Fast Santa Fe (Bear Cat)

16. I'll See You In C-U-B-A

17. El Balaju

21. Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio

22. Mi Problema

Disc 4

1. Gritenme Piedras Del Campo

2. Co-Fe

3. Single Girl

4. Bee De La Manche

6. Negra Ausencia

12. Here To Stay

13. I Know That's Right

19. Hot Chili Mama

21. El Canoero

23. San Francisco Can Be Such A Lonely Town

Disc 5

5. Food Stamp Blues

6. Ain't It A Shame

8. La Mal Sentada

9. Falling For You

14. El Corrido De Esequiel Hernandez

15. What's His Name-Jesus

16. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

x

Track List: Hear Me Howling!: Blues, Ballads, & Beyond

x

Track List: Jook Joint Blues: That's What They Want

Disc 1

1. Wine, Women, Whiskey

2. Rock Me Mama

3. Little Lean Woman

4. Hydramatic Woman

5. Lucy Mae Blues

6. Goin' To New Orleans

7. Another Fool Like Me

8. Little Milton's Boogie

9. Scott's Boogie

10. She's Gone

11. Down At The Depot

12. Calling All Cows

13. Courtin' In A Cadillac

14. Walkin' And Cryin' Blues

15. Ride Hooker Ride

16. Don't Let Your Daddy Slow Walk You Down

17. Cool Down Mama

18. Country Boy

19. Lillie Mae Boogie

20. Gotta Get Together

21. When I Come In This House Woman

22. I'm Gonna Leave You Baby

23. Evil And Hanky

24. Bad Luck

25. Central Avenue Blues

26. On My Way

27. Highway 80 Blues

28. Mama Does The Boogie

Disc 2

1. She Fool Me

2. Chicken Hearted Woman

3. That's What They Want

4. Sneaky Groundhog

5. Blinds Blues

6. Sugar Mama

7. One Room Country Shack

8. You Are Doing Me Wrong

9. I Can't Live Happy

10. Mean Old Train

11. Jackson Juke

12. Jealous Man

13. Winehead Swing

14. Weekend Blues

15. Leave My Money Alone

16. Pebble In My Shoe

17. Lonely Blues

19. Someday You'll Understand

20. Alley Corn

21. I Got Them Blues

22. L.J. Boogie

23. She's So Good To Me

24. New Orleans Bound

26. I'm Him

27. Neglected Woman

28. Too Much Competition

Disc 3

1. A Fool No More

2. Johnny Mae

3. Got My Call Card

4. Love My Baby

5. Jump The Boogie

6. One Thing My Baby Likes

7. A Dream

8. Happy Go Lucky

9. Bugger Bugger Boy

10. Sweet Angel

11. You Don't Love Me No More

12. My Woman Knows The Score

13. Goin' Home To Mother

14. Santa Fe Blues

16. Alabama Boogie

17. Wolf Call Boogie

18. Congo Mombo

19. Big Time Woman

20. Paper Wooden Daddy

21. Bloodstains On The Wall

23. Schoolboy

25. Knocking The Boogie

26. Mistreated Baby Blues

27. The $64 Question

28. If I Lose You Woman

Disc 4

1. Lester's Stomp

2. Dark Muddy Bottom

3. Lost Child

4. 1958 Blues

5. Now Listen Baby

6. Lost Without Love

7. Alla Blues

8. She's Mine All Mine

9. T.N.T. Woman

10. Lightnin' Blues

11. K.C. Boogie

12. Baby Blues

13. She's Taking All My Money

14. Let Me Be Your Handy Man

15. You Better Change

16. Strange Letter Blues

17. Things Ain't Right

18. Wine Head Baby

19. Don't Take It Out On Me

20. Deep South Guitar Blues

21. Packin' Up My Blues

22. Blow It Down

23. Good Road Blues

24. Katherine Blues

25. On The Hook

26. I Can't Be Successful

27. Philippine Blues

28. Harpin' On It

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