BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” #JusJoJan


I’m in the middle of Just Jot It January, and the prompt for the day, suggested by BarbCT over at Gallimaufry, is “mercy.” I had already decided that this song would have a big part in today’s JJJ entry, anyway, when I received several reminders in my RSS feed that it’s also time for another Battle of the Bands. Hence, today’s battle.

“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” was written by Joseph Zawinul when he was with the Cannonball Adderley Quintet and was the title track for their 1966 album Mercy! Mercy! Mercy! Live At “The Club.” Here’s the original, which is not a contestant.

As an instrumental, it’s been covered multiple times. It’s also been covered by vocal groups, including two Chicago bands in 1967, The Buckinghams and The Mauds. Zawinul, unfortunately, never wrote lyrics for the song, so The Buckinghams wrote their own and recorded it, while The Mauds used lyrics by Curtis Mayfield. They’re (sort of) our contestants for today.

The Buckinghams The band that inspired Al Kooper to form Blood, Sweat, and Tears, came to national prominence during the British Invasion, so you can see the similarities to The Beatles.

Blue Road, Featuring Jimy Rogers of The Mauds The Mauds had one big hit in Chicago, “Soul Drippin’,” which featured several members of the band that would become Chicago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find The Mauds’ version, but did find this version featuring their lead singer and front man, Jimy Rogers.

So, now it’s time to vote: which one did you like better? Voting is open to everyone, including Just Jot It January participants. Listen to both versions of the song, decide which you prefer, and leave me a comment telling me which one and why. Then, how about visiting the other Battles of the Bands and seeing what they have?

Jingle Jangle Jungle
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
Tossing It Out
J. A. Scott
Angels Bark
Cherdo on the Flipside

* Stephen has the current list of participants on his site

I’ll announce the winner next Sunday, January 22, so be sure and get your vote in by then. The lines are now open; best of luck to The Buckinghams and Blue Road!


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

14 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” #JusJoJan”

  1. I’m going with Blue Road. It’s not the lyrics or the vocals – it’s the saxophone. I do love a saxophone, pretty much anytime, so they’ve got my vote – and I can here a bit of a Chicago vibe in there that I like too.

    I love what you did with this prompt, John!


  2. Happy New Year, John. 🙂 The Buckinghams’ version has a huge nostalgia factor, but I liked Jimy Rogers even better. Always a sucker for good sax and bluesy vocals. Please give my vote to Blue Road.


  3. I have to give it to Blue Road and their adventure into this song with the sax and the keyboardist. I really enjoyed listening to this one more than the Buckinghams


  4. I remember this tune getting a lot of airplay by both Cannonball and the Buckinghams. Indeed a classic!

    Blue Road does an excellent job, but my heart is with the Buckinghams.

    Buckinghams is my vote.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  5. JOHN, your blog seems to be loading a bit faster for me now on my computer at work. Still pretty slow here at home, but I have a machine that’s like me (old) so a lot of it may be on my end. Other folks probably don’t have as much trouble loading your blog as I do.

    My Ma owned the album ‘Cannonball Adderley Live At The Club’ for as far back as my memory goes, and his ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’ might well have been my official introduction to real Jazz. Love the hell out of that tune and have my own CD copy of it.

    Knowing the Cannonball Adderley recording for most of my life, it was kind of weird to hear this with vocals for the first time ever. (I’ll take C.A.’s instrumental, please. This didn’t need any words. In fact, to me, the words kind of cheapen it a bit.)

    IMO… The Buckinghams can get the buck outta here! My vote goes easily to BLUE ROAD. It was much more soulful and in the pocket. The Buckingham’s cover really wasn’t bad, but it had that kind of thin, wimpyish, white bread British Invasion sound that has never really appealed to me.

    Interesting Battle, though.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…


  6. I had to listen a few times to make up my mind which version I liked more. That’s a sign of a great battle! While I enjoyed the sax in Blue Road, I felt more connected with The Buckinghams. Please give my vote to The Buckinghams.

    Jingle Jangle Jungle


  7. John, I do remember The Buckingham’s cover and while it does through me in a nostalgic kinda of mindset, I really love soulful vibes of Blue Road who get my vote this round. Nice battle. See ya around, my friend!


  8. Blue Road did it better. I didn’t care for the other one at all, couldn’t even get through it. The original is fantastic, and previously unknown to me, so I appreciate the addition!


  9. I really like Blue Road’s version. And that sax gets me every time! I like Jimmy Rogers vocals and much prefer them to that of the Buckinghams. I also liked the keyboards. Very nice musically, all the way around. It’s Blue Road for me.
    Nice battle.

    Michele at Angels Bark


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