Mac David, Country Singer And Man Behind The Elvis magic, dies at 78

Mac David, Country Singer And Man Behind The Elvis magic, dies at 78

He was “critically ill following heart surgery in Nashville," according to a Tweet from his family.

Image Source: Twitter/Mac Davis

Country music artist and songwriter for some of Elvis Presley's biggest hits, Mac Davis, died on Tuesday. He was 78-years-old and was “critically ill following heart surgery in Nashville,” according to a tweet from his family on Monday. His manager confirmed the entertainer’s death in a statement, reports Rolling Stone. Scott 'Mac' Davis was born in Lubbock, Texas, in 1942, as per Elvis.com. He lived in Atlanta during his early years in the music business. He played in a rock 'n roll band while working as a regional manager for Vee-Jay Records. Though he was known for his songwriting skills, he rose to fame with Elvis Presley. 


Davis's big breakthrough happened in 1969-70 when Elvis Presley turned three of his songs, "In The Ghetto", "Memories" and "Don't Cry Daddy" into major hits. "The first time I saw Elvis in person I knew he was special. Number one he was the prettiest man you ever saw in your life. He was really beyond handsome. There was something electric about him," said Davis. "Coming along when he did, moving the way he did, jumping around the way he did plus the fact that every woman was totally mesmerized by him. And if they said they weren't they were lying. Everything came to standstill when you saw Elvis."


"It was unbelievable every time he performed. He was just a great looking guy and he was very confident. He knew what he could do and what he had and he played on it." Davis recounted how he felt when he first saw Presley perform. "Flabbergasted, jaw dropped. Hero, you know. All that stuff. All of the above. You know, he was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Of course, I was just a kid, you know. So was he." Davis paved way for success by himself, and in 1974, he was named Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, beating out nominees like Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard. That same year, he was nominated for Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association.


Davis, who is also a  member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the National Songwriters Hall of Fame, has had his songs recorded by Kenny Rogers, Glen Campbell, Bobby Goldsboro, and the soft-rock band Gallery, one of many artists who cut Davis’ “I Believe in Music.” In 1989, he recorded the duet “Wait ‘Til I Get You Home” with Dolly Parton for the country legend’s album White Limozeen. Davis also dabbled at acting, with his own variety series, The Mac Davis Show, from 1974 to 1976 on NBC. His most recent TV appearance was in 2019, when he appeared in an episode of the Netflix series Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings.


Country music singer, songwriter, and record producer Kenny Chesney labeled Davis as an early influence and remembered him on Tuesday as a “songwriting hero.” “He welcomed me into his home and turned that tremendous creative light on me. Even though he’d written ‘In the Ghetto’ for Elvis and had so many incredible hits of his own, he made me feel like what I was doing mattered,” Chesney said. “A small-town boy who’d achieved the greatest kinds of fame, he remained a good guy, a family man. That was Mac: a giant heart, quick to laugh and a bigger creative spirit. I was blessed to have it shine on me.”


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