Crazy 'Bout a Mercury


When we purchase an automobile, we are also acquiring an amorphous but very real image, that is, the statement which the automobile makes about its owner to the public. Such images are forged in popular culture, and Mercury is an automobile brand that had an auspicious post-WWII popular culture debut. In 1948, K.C. Douglas recorded “Mercury Boogie” on a 10-inch 78-RPM, with its memorable line in the chorus “I’m crazy ‘bout a Mercury.” Five years later in 1953, George and Sam Barris transformed a 1951 Mercury Club Coupe into the Hirohata Merc, creating a classic of customization that has been described as “the most famous custom of all time” (Taylor 2006: 56). Ford occasionally attempted to take advantage of these strong roots in popular culture formed in the make’s earliest days, but the company’s efforts were not notably successful. In spite of Mercury’s promising beginnings in media, it has had only a slight presence in music and film. Mercury’s image never influenced the automobile market beyond the first few years, and it was unable to prevent the brand’s 2011 demise.


Automobile; Popular Music; Blues; Brand Image; popular culture; Mercury

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Published : 2021-12-19

McGounE. (2021). Crazy ’Bout a Mercury. Review of International American Studies, 14(2), 57-74.

Elton G. McGoun
Bucknell University  United States

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