Mary, Mary (song)

"Mary, Mary"
Mary Mary cover.jpg
Single by The Monkees
from the album More of the Monkees
B-side "What am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?"
Released 1968
Recorded Monday July 25, 1966 at Western Recorders Hollywood
Genre Rock
Label RCA Australia
Songwriter(s) Michael Nesmith
Producer(s) Michael Nesmith

"Mary, Mary" is a song written by Michael Nesmith. It was first recorded by The Butterfield Blues Band for their 1966 album, East-West. Nesmith's band, The Monkees, also recorded the song. Hip hop group, Run–D.M.C., revived the song in the late 1980s with a cover version that hit the R&B and pop charts in the United States.

The Butterfield Blues Band version

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was the first group to record and release the song commercially, featured as a track on their 1966 album East-West. In addition to Butterfield, musicians to play on the track include Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. No songwriter credit is listed for "Mary, Mary" on East-West.[1]

The Monkees version

On July 25, 1966, Nesmith produced and recorded the song for The Monkees at Western Recorders in Hollywood, California. Micky Dolenz sang lead, and Mike used the crack group of session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew to beef up their sound, including; James Burton, Glen Campbell, Al Casey, Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon, Michael Deasy and Larry Knechtel. Their version was released on the album More of the Monkees in 1967.

The Monkees' "Mary Mary" was not released as a single in the USA in the 1960s,[2][3] although it was given away as a cut-out cereal box prize in 1969.[4] Singles were released in several other countries[5] including Australia where the local RCA release was a number five hit in 1968.


Appearances on The Monkees

"Mary, Mary" was featured in five episodes of the 1966–67 first season of the television series The Monkees:

Run–D.M.C. version

"Mary, Mary"
Mary Mary.jpg
Single by Run–D.M.C.
from the album Tougher Than Leather
B-side "Rock Box"
Released March 8, 1988
Recorded 1987
Genre Hip hop, rap rock
Length 3:12
Label Profile Records
Songwriter(s) Michael Nesmith
Producer(s) Rick Rubin, Run–D.M.C.
Run–D.M.C. singles chronology
"I'm Not Going Out Like That"
"Mary, Mary"
"Run's House"

Run–D.M.C. covered "Mary, Mary" in a rap rock version. It was released as a single from their fourth album, Tougher Than Leather, in 1988. It was released by Profile Records and produced by the group along with Rick Rubin. It was their most successful single from the album, being the only one to make it to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 75, and peaking at number 29 on the Hot Black Singles chart.

Run-D.M.C. changed the line "Mary, Mary, where ya' goin' to" to "Mary, Mary, why ya' buggin'". Although Run-D.M.C. replaced Michael Nesmith's original lyrics with a new set of lyrics of their own, Nesmith was the only writer credited on Run-D.M.C.'s single. Run-D.M.C.'s version samples Micky Dolenz singing the title from the Monkees' recording.

Track listing

  1. "Mary, Mary" – 3:12
  1. "Mary, Mary" (Instrumental) – 3:12
  2. "Rock Box" – 5:28


  1. ^ Tom Ellis III, 'Paul Butterfield: The Glory Years", Blues Access No. 25, Spring 1996
  2. ^ Colgems - Label Discography at, retrieved April 29, 2018
  3. ^ Discography for Colgems Records at Global Dog Productions, retrieved April 29, 2018
  4. ^ Record details: "Cut-out record from the back of a cereal box" at, retrieved April 29, 2018
  5. ^ "Mary Mary" discographical search results at, retrieved April 29, 2018

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