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REWIND: In 1996, Alan Jackson Turbocharges Home Improvement with “Mercury Blues”


AJ at the Home Improvement Show

During one of the biggest years in Alan Jackson’s music career, he makes an unexpected appearance on the widely well-liked American sitcom, Home Improvement, which had swept the nation in the ’90s.

Home Improvement was an ABC sitcom that aired on ABC from September 17, 1991, to May 25, 1999. The sequence was produced by Matt Williams, Carmen Finestra, and David McFadzean. During the 1990s, it was the most-watched sitcoms in the US because it was one of the highest-rated sitcoms for almost the entire decade, and received many awards. They had many surprise guests – but Alan Jackson certainly topped the list. After his debut album’s released, the country music singer gave his fans something to remember.

Tim Taylor’s cable show, “Tool Time,” would generally have a surprise guest show up, but this one just happened to feature the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year at the time (1992) Alan Jackson!

Tool Time was the mini-handyman show in Home Improvement hosted by Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor ( Tim Allen) and Al Borland ( Richard Karn). In the episode, (the season 5 episode “When Harry Kept Delores”) Jackson sings his hits remake of K.C. Douglas’, (an American rural blues singer and guitarist) 1948 hit, “Mercury Blues” while Tim & Al hop inside his vintage Mercury sedan and pretend to take a ride.

His version of the song also caught the attention of Mercury Vehicle’s parent corporation, Ford Motor Company.  Ford purchased the rights to the song and used it in many television commercials throughout the early ’90s. Jackson’s 1950 customized Mercury was showed off in the sitcom which made for the perfect segway to jump into a performance of “Mercury Blues.”

“Mercury Blues” was written by the Blues musicians K.C. Douglas and Robert Geddins in 1949. It was originally titled “Mercury Boogie.” The song was popularized two generations later by Alan Jackson whose 1993 cover peaked at #2 on the Country chart. The song has also been covered by the Steve Miller Band (is an American rock band formed in 1966), David Lindley (is an American musician who founded the band El Rayo-X) and Meat Loaf (is an American singer and actor).

The series (Home Improvement) ended after eight seasons in 1999. Richardson was offered $25 million to do a ninth season; Allen was offered $50 million. The two declined the offer and the series came to an end as a result.

Alan Jackson

Alan Eugene Jackson is a popular American country singer and songwriter of the ‘90s. He was known for blending customary honky-tonk and ordinary country sounds and penning many of his own hits.  He already recorded 14 studio albums, 3 Greatest Hits albums, 2 Christmas albums, 2 Gospel albums, and several compilations, all on the Arista Nashville label.

He was born on October 17, 1958, in Newnan, Georgia. His beloved father, Joseph Eugene “Daddy Gene” Jackson (1927-200), was a mechanic at the Ford Motor Company assembly plant and his lovely mother, Mattie Ruth (Musick), “Mama Ruth” Jackson (1930-2017), was a dietician and school cafeteria manager. Jackson grew up in a countryside Georgia and lived with his parents and four older sister siblings in a house built used for storing tools by his grandfather. He got married to his high school sweetheart, Denise, on December 15, 1979, at Newman Baptist Church. His wife was a flight attendant. Shortly after marrying Denise, Jackson moved to Nashville, Tennessee to go after his career in music.

After a series of refusal, he eventually signed with Artista Records. Artista released his debut album, In the Real World (1990), noticeable Jackson’s arrival among a group of country artists which include Randy Travis, Clint Black, Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks, and Vince Gill represented a new brand of upholding tradition in country music that trend in the 1980s because of their synthesized pop music. 

He wrote the songs “Chattahoochee” and “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” during the September 11th terrorist attacks. Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” a song honoring those lost in the September 11th terror attacks. The song won multiple awards at the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Awards, including Song of the Year, and also obtains his first Grammy Award for Best Country Song.




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