K.C. “Mercury Blues” Douglas
K.C. Douglas was a fine blues musician from the Bay Area. Originally born Mississippi K.C. Douglas learned the Delta Blues from veteran Tommy Johnson. Alongside Johnson, K.C. would perform throughout Mississippi in several Juke Joints until 1945, when he moved to the West Coast. In de Bay Ares Folk Blues scene Douglas would performed several songs of Johnson. ( Blues Encyclopedia by Edward Komara,Peter Lee, p 280) .
K.C. Douglas from Mississippi to California
After K.C. Douglas moved to California he quickly formed a band. In 1948 his first recording “Mercury Boogie” was pressed. Mercury Boogie is a happy feeling blues song and in some ways it just sounds as a jam between the folks in the local bar. That sounds is what hear in a lot througout K.C.’s repertoire. I Imagine K.C. Douglas as a man who allways played and allways was around. A habitue of the local juke joint and a local hero.
Arhoolie founder Chris Strachwitz and K.C. met in the late fifties, and Stachwitz must have seen the heroism of Douglas like we do now. They recorded “Mercury Boogie” in 1960 later Douglas would record maybe his best song “Mercury Blues” for Arhoolie. (Arhoolie 40th anniversary collection set).
K.C. Douglas’ “Mercury Blues” was covered by a whole lot of musicians like The Steve Miller Band, Alan Jackson, and Meat Loaf. Alan Jackson´s version of “Mercury Blues” became a big hit in 1992, and was used in a Ford Trucks commercial. The rights of the song where purchased by Ford Motor Company.
K.C. Douglas didn’t get the fame like fellow west coast blues musicians like Jesse Fuller or Lowell Folsom got. Het was a local hero where he played in the pubs and coffeehouses of Oakland and the Bay Area. K.C. Was always around playing blues. That lifestyle made him the hero of the Bay Blues.