MERCY DEE WALTON - PITY AND A SHAME (1961)
US Blues, MP3 @ 224
Born in Waco, Texas on August 30, 1915, young Mercy Dee heard many
powerful and seasoned piano players. He heard them at "10c. house
parties" which would take place most every week-end out in the country.
Someone whould hire a piano player and find an empty house, charge 10c.
admission and the party was under way. Others would bring food and sell
it together with beer and moonshine. The piano player amde perhaps $1.50
for playing all night but as Mercy Dee says: "A dollar was a great thing
in those days". These parties would start on a friday night - go on all
day saturday and all that night until sunday. Usually during the course
of a week-end you could hear four or five different piano players. One of
these players was a man named Delois Maxey and he left a strong influence
on Mercy Dee. He never made any records but everyone around Waco knew him
as one of the best piano players.
Mercy Dee came to California before the second World War and moved around
from Los Angeles through the Central Valley to Oakland and San Francisco,
playing mostly for the farm workers who knew his kind of blues. After the
War, with large numbers of independent small record labels appearing like
wild-flowers all over the country, an enterprising Chinese-American named
Chester Lu contracted Mercy Dee to make some records. Spire was the name
of his label and the two discs by Mercy Dee were the extent of his
catalogue. But the records got around and other newly-founded labels
specializing in "Rhythm and Blues" heard of Mercy Dee and soon his records
were appearing on two or three different labels. When his hit records of
"One Room Country Shack" broke all over the country, Mercy Dee became a
full-time musician and entertainer.
Mercy Dee Walton died in 1962.
Mercy Dee Walton