The Timeless Journey of the song 'Mustang Sally' Through Music Carriers, Movies, and Space

May 13
The Timeless Journey of the song 'Mustang Sally' Through Music Carriers, Movies, and Space

Ford Mustang, whose first version was introduced to the American market in 1964, became so popular that it not only appeared in movies like “Goldfinger” (1964) or “Bullitt” (1968), but even a song was written about it.

The Origin of the Song “Mustang Sally”

In May 1965, American singer and songwriter Mack Rice recorded the song “Mustang Sally,” composed by him, about a man who bought his girlfriend Sally a Ford Mustang, which she eventually preferred over him. The song came about when singer Della Reese wanted to buy her drummer Calvin Shields a Lincoln Continental for his birthday, but he wanted a Ford Mustang instead.

Mack Rice was inspired by the car to write a song that was originally going to be called “Mustang Mama,” but at the suggestion of singer Aretha Franklin, he renamed it “Mustang Sally.” The song reached number 15 on the R&B charts.

The Most Famous Version Sung by Wilson Pickett

A year later, Wilson Pickett recorded “Mustang Sally” as a single, and the song reached number 6 on the R&B charts. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked this version of the song as the 434th greatest song of all time, although six years later it dropped to 441st place.

“Mustang Sally” in Film, Television, and Space

“Mustang Sally,” sung by Andrew Strong, appeared in the film “The Commitments” (1991) and the TV series “Glee” (2009 - 2015), where it was performed by Noah Guthrie.

It is also interesting to note that when astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman to participate in the Challenger space shuttle mission in 1983, a large portion of the crew wore t-shirts referencing the song lyrics and her name, “Ride, Sally Ride.

The popularity of the song about the Ford Mustang, which has now seen seven generations and is thus the longest-running (and fifth best-selling) car in Ford’s history, is also evidenced by its induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.


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