Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (Buckinghams’ Version); A Joe Zawinul One-Off

Joe Zawinul; Consummate "Jazz" Composer & Keyboard Player

I usually write about one-offs with regard to a band/performer. In this case, it’s about Joe Zawinul, the man who wrote the music (lyrics by Johnny Watson and Larry Williams). What a monster player/composer in his own right and legendary leader of Weather Report and The Zawinul Syndicate amongst many other distinguished playing situations.

Originally, he wrote Mercy Mercy Mercy for Julian “Cannonball” Adderley in 1966. I doubt he ever thought much about the Buckinghams until, that is, they made it a huge hit! Imagine, having never written anything like it before or since, (the heavy) Joe Zawinul involved in the pop industry. I love it!

The Buckinghams' Mercy Mercy Mercy Album.

My first experience with the tune was, in fact, with the Buckinghams version when I was 15 years old in 1967. I loved (and still do) everything about the tune. The drumming is intelligent and the arrangement is really thought out. The blue tinge and horn section take it out of the bubble gum class and for me, those qualities make the performance memorable (AND, last but certainly not the least, check out the BIG ending!). Take a trip down memory lane when the British ruled the airwaves and we did our best to hang on!

Personnel as determined: Carl Giammarese guitar; Nick Fortuna bass; John Poulos drums; George LeGros vocals; Dennis Tufano vocals; Marty Grebb keyboardist.

As far as the creative side of my musical persona is concerned, I am the sum total of what I have experienced musically. The emotion, the energy and the memories of music collected in my ear have shaped who I am as a composer, player and dreamer.


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