Listen: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy / Marlena Shaw
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy / Marlena Shaw
Like with Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’, I also have a similar penchant for ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’. Basically, never do I pass up a copy, in fact, the loungier the better.
There are plenty of renditions around by everyone from Jaco Pastorius to Nils Lofgren. Not to mention versions buried in jazzy muzak albums that came fast and furious in the late 60′s.
’67 was the year that saw the song hit Billboard’s Top 5 twice, The Buckinghams version with lyrics, and the original instrumental from The Cannonball Adderley Quintet which went to #1, no doubt a surprise to both artist and label. Big fan of both.
Those in the know, like England’s mods, would attest that the grooviest, hands down, is from Marlena Shaw. Here’s a lady that recorded for the who’s who of RnB/Jazz labels during her career: Chess subsidiary Cadet, Blue Note and Verve.
In ’63, after initially deciding to go for the big time, and get into a record company, she auditioned for, but was turned down by Columbia. Several years later, they changed their minds and signed her away from Blue Note after releasing the wonderfully titled WHO IS THIS BITCH, ANYWAY?
Sounds familiar. I got invited in to Columbia for an interview in the late 80′s, never heard another word from them. About ten years later, out of the blue they rang again, this time offering me a job. I figured, give it a try. Lasted twelve years.