Mac Davis dies
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Mac Davis dies

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 – Country music singer, songwriter and actor Mac Davis, perhaps best known for "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me," died on Tuesday at 78, one day after it was disclosed he had heart surgery.

Davis' songs were were recorded by Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Bruno Mars, Glen Campbell, Tammy Wynette, Avicii, Andy Williams, Conway Twitty, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Bobby Blue Bland, Merle Haggard and O.C. Smith.

Davis recorded 20 albums and charted more than 40 singles. He has five Gold Records and two Platinum Records. He is a member of the national Songwriters Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is also a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. He is among the handful of songwriters who have been honored with a BMI Icon award.

The Lubbock, Texas, wrote for Elvis Presley, including the hits "Memories," "In the Ghetto," "Don't Cry Daddy" and "A Little Less Conversation."

Davis was born Morris Mac Davis on Jan. 21, 1942 in Lubbock, Texas. He was raised there by his strict, religious father. As soon as he graduated from Lubbock High, he moved to Atlanta, where his mother was living. He was in a band and also worked for several record labels.

In Georgia, he played in a rock band, The Zots, and recorded a series of solo tunes for independent labels in 1962-65. "A Little Dutch Town," "Honey Love," "Hey Monkey" and "I Protest" went nowhere. Eager to stay in show business, Davis became a promotion man for the Vee Jay and Liberty labels.

He started working for Nancy Sinatra's company, Boots Enterprises in the late 1960s. In 1966-67, Davis had his songs recorded by Campbell, Sinatra, Lou Rawls and Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs. Among Davis's songs were "Hello L.A. Bye-Bye Birmingham," "Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife," "Daddy's Little Man" and "God Knows I Love You." He played on many of Sinatra's recordings, and she worked him into her stage shows. Davis left Boots Enterprises in 1970 to sign with Columbia Records.

In addition Presley's recordings of his song, Bobby Goldsboro also recorded some of Davis's material, including "Watching Scotty Grow", which became a number one Adult Contemporary hit for Goldsboro in 1971.

"I Believe in Music" was recorded by several artists, including B.J. Thomas, Louis Jordan, Perry Como, the late Helen Reddy, and Davis himself before becoming a hit in 1972 for the group Gallery.

Davis topped the country and pop charts with "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me" in 1972 and selling more than 1 million copies.

In 1974, Davis won the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year award. Other hits included "Stop and Smell the Roses" (a number one Adult Contemporary success in 1974) (pop number nine), "One Hell of a Woman" (pop number 11), "Rock 'N' Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life)" (pop number 15), and "Burnin' Thing" (pop number 53).

By the end of the decade, he moved to Casablanca Records, the home of KISS. He scored in 1980 with the novelty song "It's Hard to Be Humble," a light-hearted song, which became his first country top 10. Later that year, he also had another top 10 song with "Let's Keep It That Way."

Other hits were "Texas in My Rear View Mirror" and "Hooked on Music", which became his biggest country music success in 1981, going to number two. In 1985, he recorded his last top 10 country music success with the song "I Never Made Love (Till I Made Love With You)."

Davis also pursued an acting career. From 1974 to 1976, he had his own television variety show on NBC, "The Mac Davis Show." He made his feature film debut opposite Nick Nolte in the football film, "North Dallas Forty" (1979). Davis played Will Rogers in the Broadway production of "The Will Rogers Follies" and in the national tour.

He continued appearing on TV and in movies until last year.

n 2013, he reemerged in the music world by collaborating with Avicii on the international favorite "Addicted to You." The following year, he reappeared on the pop charts as the co-writer of the Bruno Mars tune "Young Girls."

His last appearance as an actor was portraying a preacher in the "J.J. Sneed" episode of the Dolly Parton's Heartstrings Netflix series of mini movies in 2019.

Davis, who was married three times, leaves behind his wife, Lisa, and three children.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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