Lonnie Mack: Wikis


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Lonnie Mack

Lonnie Mack in Rising Sun, Indiana, 2003.
Background information
Birth name Lonnie McIntosh
Born July 18, 1941 (1941-07-18) (age 68)
Dearborn County, Indiana, U.S.
Genres Blues-rock, blues, country, southern rock, rockabilly, bluegrass, gospel
Occupations Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Electric guitar
Years active 1954–present
Labels Alligator, Elektra, Fraternity, Capitol, Flying V Records, Jewel, King, Ace, Epic, Sage Records, Dobbs Records
Website www.lonniemack.com
Notable instruments
1958 Gibson Flying V guitar

Lonnie Mack (born Lonnie McIntosh, 18 July 1941, Dearborn County, Indiana) is a rock and blues guitarist/vocalist.

In the early 1960s, he recorded several full-length rock guitar instrumentals strongly grounded in the blues, the best-known of which are "Memphis", "Wham!", "Chicken Pickin'" and "Suzie-Q". Mack's instrumentals from this period set a new standard of virtuosity for a generation of rock guitarists[1][2] and formed the leading edge of the "blues-rock" guitar genre[3].

In 1979, music historian Richard T. Pinnell, Ph. D., described 1963's "Memphis" as "a milestone of early rock guitar".[4] In 1980, Guitar World magazine ranked "Memphis" No. 1 among the "Landmark" guitar recordings of the Rock era.[5]

Mack is also known for the emotional intensity of his early "blue-eyed soul" ballads. In 1992, citing both Mack's vocals and his guitar solos, music critic Jimmy Guterman ranked Mack's first album, 1963's The Wham of that Memphis Man!, No. 16 in his book The 100 Best Rock 'n' Roll Records of All Time.[6]

Mack released numerous singles and thirteen original albums between 1963 and 1990 and was most active as a blues-rock performer during the 1960s and the latter half of the 1980s. However, an aversion to fame and its trappings led him to switch styles and even idle his career for lengthy periods,[7] perhaps explaining his simultaneous appearance, years later, in lists of both "100 Greatest Rock Guitarists"[8] and "Forgotten Greats and Unsung Heroes"[9]. Today he is widely regarded as a "ground-breaking" rock guitarist, whose artistic impact far outreaches his commercial notoriety.[10][11]

Beyond his career as a solo artist, Mack recorded with The Doors, Stevie Ray Vaughan, James Brown, Freddie King, Joe Simon, Ronnie Hawkins, Albert Collins, Roy Buchanan, Dobie Gray and the sons of blues legend Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, among others.



Lonnie Mack's music career began in the mid-1950s. It included recordings of historical significance and followed a path marked by critical acclaim, periods of reclusion, rediscovery and comeback.[12][13][14][15] Mack recorded as a featured artist from 1963 until 1990, and as a session musician from the early '60s until 2000. He performed often until the early 2000s, and still occasionally appears at special events,[16] most recently as a featured performer at a November 15, 2008 production of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame[17].

As a frontman, Mack has been described as rock’s first "virtuoso" lead guitarist and its first "guitar hero".[18] His early rock-guitar recordings were the first to comprehensively marry electric blues guitar stylism with fast-picking techniques (leading one early reviewer to note the "peculiar 'running' quality"[19] of Mack's solos), foreshadowing the flashy, blues-based lead guitar style which dominated rock by the end of the decade.[4][12][16]

In a 1968 feature article, Rolling Stone magazine declared Mack to be "in a class by himself" as a rock guitarist.[19] By the 1980s, he was generally regarded as a pivotal figure in the history of rock guitar, having influenced every major rock guitarist of the day, according to Guitar World magazine, "from Clapton to Allman to Vaughan"[13] and "from Nugent to Bloomfield".[20] In addition, his pioneering "blue-eyed soul" vocals in the early 1960s were noted for their gospel-like fervor.[19][21]

Mack's recordings drew on a variety of genres, including country, rockabilly, Southern Rock, "roots-rock", classic R&B, soul, bluegrass, post-war urban blues and gospel music. Attempts to classify Mack's music proved challenging.[18][22][23][24][25][26] In later years, it was dubbed "roadhouse rock".[22] Music critic Alec Dubro summarized: "Lonnie can be put into that 'Elvis Presley-Roy Orbison-early rock' bag, but mostly for convenience. In total sound and execution, he was an innovator".[27]

The common thread in Mack's best-known music is a unique mix of black and white musical roots. In a 1977 interview, Mack was asked about his merger of country and blues styles. "I think they're about the closest musics there are. They're the earth-musics of the white and black people. Country is never gonna die, and neither is the blues---and rock and roll is a little bit of both."[28]


Musical influences

A few weeks before Mack's birth, his family moved from the Appalachians of southeastern Kentucky to the small share-cropping farm in southern Indiana where he was born and raised. Mack's parents and several close relatives were musicians, who instilled in him a love of bluegrass and traditional country music.[14] Although there was no electricity on the farm, his family had a primitive battery-powered radio, and they were devotees of "The Grand Ole Opry" radio show. Often, after the rest of the family had retired for the night, Mack logged some radio time on his own, listening to early R&B and gospel music.[29]

Mack began playing at the age of 7, using an acoustic guitar he had traded for a bicycle.[15] While still a small child, he was playing guitar for tips at a hobo jungle near his home, and outside of the Nieman Hotel in nearby Aurora, Indiana.[23]

Mack's mother was his earliest country guitar and singing influence, and a blind guitarist-gospel singer, Ralph Trotto, was his earliest musical mentor and blues guitar influence.[30] In a 1992 interview, Mack recalled this period: "Back when I was 10 years old, my uncle, Harry Dawes, come in from Texas, and took me to see an old black man in northern Indiana. [He] played gut-bucket and slide and Robert Johnson-type guitar. I was into Merle Travis finger-pickin' style, and didn't realize I could adapt it over to some other kinds of music, but I learned from [him] how to do that. I got real happy about it, 'cause I thought I had something new. Then, all of a sudden, rockabilly came along, and I says, 'I been playin' that!' "[31]

In several recordings, Mack refers to the influence (or his appreciation) of The Grand Ole Opry, Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles and Bobby "Blue" Bland. Early in his career, Mack recorded tunes by Reed, Charles and Bland. He has also cited '50s R&B vocalist Hank Ballard and country vocalist George Jones as singing influences.[32] Mack recorded tunes by each of them as well. Various sources have noted that Mack's playing shows influences of R&B guitarist Robert Ward of the Ohio Players, electric blues guitarist T-Bone Walker (one of whose tunes he recorded), country guitarist Merle Travis and jazz guitarist Les Paul.[33] Finally, Mack's highest-charting single, the 1963 instrumental "Memphis", was based on the melody of a Chuck Berry tune.[34]

Early career

Mack dropped out of school at the age of 13, after an altercation with a teacher.[35] In his mid-teens he began performing in roadhouse venues in and around Cincinnati, Ohio.[36]

During the same period, Mack played guitar on two country recordings, "Too Late to Cry" and "Hey, Baby", with his cousins, Aubrey Holt, Harold Sizemore and Harley Gabbard. According to one source, the Sage label released these singles in March 1959, when Mack was 17.[37] As a teen-aged solo artist in the late '50s, Mack recorded a cover of Clarence Poindexter's 1943 western swing hit, "Pistol-Packin' Mama" on the Dobbs label.[38] These early, low-circulation Mack recordings have been out-of-print for decades.

In 1958, Mack bought the seventh Gibson Flying V guitar from the first run produced by that firm,[39][40] which he used almost exclusively during his career. Mack, who is of both Scottish and Native American ancestry[39] was attracted to the arrow-shaped instrument because of pride in his Indian heritage.[18] The 1958 Flying V model is now considered highly collectible, only 81 of them having been shipped during that first year of its production.

By the late 1950s, Mack had assembled a band, and they were soon performing regularly throughout Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, playing R&B-tinged rock & roll. In the early 1960s, Mack shortened his name from "McIntosh" to "Mack" and named his band "The Twilighters", after the Hamilton, Ohio club where they had a steady engagement.[18]

About the same time, Mack started working as a session artist for Fraternity, a small record label in Cincinnati.[41] There, he played guitar on a number of singles by local recording artists, including Max Falcon, Beau Dollar and the Coins, Denzil Rice and Cincinnati's prominent female R&B trio, The Charmaines.[42] Several of these recordings are found on compilation CDs entitled Lonnie Mack: From Nashville to Memphis (Ace, 2004) and Gigi and the Charmaines (Ace, 2006).[43]

"Memphis", "Wham!" and the birth of blues-rock guitar

On March 12, 1963,[24] at the end of a recording session in which Mack and his band had backed up The Charmaines, they were offered the remaining twenty minutes of studio rental time.[44] Without any expectation that the tune would later be released, Mack immediately recorded one his roadhouse staples, a bluesy, rockabilly guitar instrumental loosely based on the melody of Chuck Berry's 1959 UK vocal hit, "Memphis, Tennessee".[45]

By the time "Memphis" was first broadcast in the Spring of 1963, Mack had already forgotten recording it and was engaged in a nation-wide performing tour with singer-songwriter Troy Seals.[44] He did not know the tune had been released until a friend located him on tour, and told him it was climbing the charts.[44][46] In a 1977 interview, Mack recalled: "I was completely taken by surprise. I never listened to the radio. I had no idea what was happening".[44][47]

By late June, "Memphis" had risen to No. 4 on Billboard's R&B chart and No. 5 on Billboard's Pop chart.[44] Up to that point in time, only two other rock guitar instrumentals had penetrated Billboard's "Top 5".[48] It was the only top-20 single of Mack's career. In 1964, Johnny Rivers released his own version of "Memphis", recombining Berry's vocal treatment with signature elements of Mack's instrumental. Rivers' version scored No. 2 on the US Hit Parade.

Still in 1963, Mack released "Wham!", a gospel-inspired guitar instrumental, which reached No. 24 on Billboard's Pop chart in September.[45] He soon recorded [49] several more full-length rock guitar instrumentals, including "Suzie Q", "Down in the Dumps", "Nashville", "Tension" and "Lonnie On The Move" in 1963 and "Chicken Pickin'" and "Coastin'" in 1964.[43] Mack used a Bigsby tremolo arm on "Wham!" and several other tunes to achieve sound effects so distinctive for the time that the tremolo arm became better-known as the "whammy bar".[18] To enhance the vibrato on these tunes, he employed a variant of Robert Ward's distortion technique, using a 1950s-era tube-fired Magnatone amplifier to produce a "rotating, fluttery sound".[45]

According to music historian and guitar professor Richard T. Pinnell, Ph. D., Mack's expression of "blues stylism" in "Memphis" was "unique" in the history of rock guitar to that point, producing a tune that was both "rhythmically and melodically full of fire" and "one of the milestones of early rock and roll guitar".[4]

Although the term "blues-rock" had not yet come into common usage in 1963, "Memphis" is now widely regarded as the first genuine hit recording of the blues-rock guitar genre.[50] "Wham!" soon became the second.[43][51]

Many prominent lead guitarists cut their musical teeth on these recordings.[52] In 1963, 17-year-old Duane Allman played "Memphis" repeatedly in his military academy dorm-room, stopping it, starting it, and slowing it down to play along, until he had finally mastered it.[53] As a teenager, Stevie Ray Vaughan did the same with "Wham!",[54] which he described as "the first record I ever owned".[55] Later, Vaughan recorded covers of both "Wham!" and "Chicken-Pickin'".[56] Western Swing guitarist Ray Benson, frontman for eight-time Grammy-winner Asleep at the Wheel, has recounted a similar story, calling Mack "my guitar hero".[57]

"Blue-Eyed Soul" ballads

Mack's first recording successes were instrumentals. However, his roadhouse performances typically included both vocals and instrumentals. Accordingly, in 1963, Fraternity allowed Mack to record a number of tunes featuring his singing talents.[58]

Although Mack ultimately became better known for his guitar recordings, his early "blue-eyed soul" vocal recordings were critically acclaimed.[59]

According to one critic:

Ultimately — for consistency and depth of feeling — the best blue-eyed soul is defined by Lonnie Mack's ballads and virtually everything The Righteous Brothers recorded. Lonnie Mack wailed a soul ballad as gutsily as any black gospel singer. The anguished inflections which stamped his best songs ("Why?", "She Don't Come Here Anymore" and "Where There's a Will") had a directness which would have been wholly embarrassing in the hands of almost any other white vocalist.

music critic Bill Millar, 1983 essay "Blue-Eyed Soul: Colour Me Soul"[60]

R&B radio stations throughout the South played Mack's gospel-inspired version of the soul ballad "Where There's a Will" in 1963, until he was invited to give a live radio interview with a prominent R&B disc jockey in racially-polarized [61] Birmingham, Alabama. Mack recalls that when he appeared at the radio station, the DJ took one look at him, then said, "Baby, you're the wrong color", and canceled the interview on the spot.[45][62]

After that, Mack recalls, there was a precipitous drop in the airplay time devoted to his vocal recordings on R&B radio stations.[63] Fraternity delayed release of one of his signature soul ballads, "Why?" (recorded in 1963), as a single, until 1968,[45] and then only as the "B" side of a re-release of "Memphis".[43] As recently as 2001, one music critic characterized "Why?" as one of the "lost rock & roll masterpieces".[64]

Despite the de facto blacklisting of Mack's vocal recordings on R&B radio stations, his 1963 cover version of Jimmy Reed's "Baby, What's Wrong," became a modest crossover pop hit (Billboard Pop, No. 93),[43] particularly in the Midwest, Fraternity's traditional distribution market.[39]

After the 1960s, Mack recorded fewer "pure" blues and soul ballads, and more country and rockabilly vocals.[65] Mack's mature singing style has been variously described as a "country-esque blues voice",[66] and the "impassioned vocal style of a white Hoosier with a touch of Memphis soul".[67] 1983's Live at Coco's contains several bluesy vocals in this style, including a version of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday".[68] Other examples include Mack's own soul ballad, "Stop", on 1985's Strike Like Lightning, and a gospel-drenched version of Wilson Pickett's "I Found a Love" on 1990's Live: Attack of the Killer V.[69]

The Wham of that Memphis Man!

The Wham of That Memphis Man! album cover

During 1963, after the release of "Memphis" and "Wham!", Mack returned to the studio several times to cut additional recordings, including instrumentals, vocals and ensemble tunes.[70] Fraternity packaged several of these, along with his 1963 singles, into an album entitled The Wham of that Memphis Man!.

Mack played the guitar solos in a rapid, seamless and precise style.[45] His vocals were strongly influenced by Black gospel music.[71] All of the tunes were backed by bass guitar and drums, and many also featured keyboards and a Stax/Volt-style horn section. Several cuts included an R&B backup chorus, provided by The Charmaines.[72] In his book, The 100 Best Rock 'n' Roll Records of All Time, Jimmy Guterman ranked the album No. 16, saying:

The first of the guitar-hero records is also one of the best. And for perhaps the last time, the singing on such a disc is worthy of the guitar histrionics. Lonnie Mack bent, stroked, and modified the sound of six strings in ways that baffled his contemporaries and served as a guide to future players. His brash arrangements insure that [the album] remains a showcase for songs, not just a platform for showing off. Mack, who produced this album, has never been given credit for the dignified understatement he brought to his workouts.[73]

The Wham of that Memphis Man! was released within weeks of the beginning of the British Invasion. Competing with likes of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones was an obstacle encountered by many, but Mack faced an additional challenge: In the words of critic John Morthland, "It was the era of satin pants and histrionic stage shows, and all the superior chops in the world couldn't hide the fact that [Mack] probably had more in common with Kentucky truck drivers than he did with the new rock audience".[74]

The Wham of that Memphis Man! has been reissued at least ten times, most recently in 2008.[75] However, most of Mack's Fraternity recordings are not found on the album. Fraternity continued to release additional Mack singles during the 1960s,[43] but never issued another album.[76][77] Some of his Fraternity sides, including some alternate takes of tunes released in the 1960s, were first released three or four decades after they were recorded, on a series of Mack compilation albums.[78][79][80]

Historical significance of Mack's guitar solos

In July, 1980, seventeen years after "Memphis" was first released, the editors of Guitar World magazine ranked it the premier "landmark" rock guitar recording of all time, immediately ahead of full albums featuring guitarists Mike Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.[81]

Mack's guitar style was a significant influence on guitarists Duane Allman,[53] Stevie Ray Vaughan,[82] Dickie Betts,[83] Neil Young,[84] and Ted Nugent,[85] among others. It is also said to have had a profound influence upon the history and development of rock guitar, generally:[18][86][87]

In all, it is not an exaggeration to say that Lonnie Mack was well ahead of his time....His bluesy solos pre-dated the pioneering blues-rock guitar work of Jeff Beck... Eric Clapton... and Mike Bloomfield... by nearly two years. Considering that they [were] 'before their time', the chronological significance of Lonnie Mack for the world of rock guitar is that much more remarkable.

Brown & Newquist, Legends of Rock Guitar, Hal Leonard Co., 1997, p. 25'

[Mack's early work] was an aggressive, sophisticated, original and fully-realized sound, developed by a kid from the sticks. It's questionable we'd have incandescent moments like Cream's [1968] rendition of "Crossroads" without Lonnie Mack's ground-breaking arrangements five years earlier.

Sandmel, , Guitar World, May, 1984, pp. 55-56'

Transition period

In the mid-1960s, the public's musical tastes shifted radically due to the initial, "pop" phase of the "British Invasion". However, during the same period, the "folk music" movement in the US and the popularity of Black musical forms in both the US and the UK expanded the appeal of classic rural and urban blues among young whites of the baby boom generation.

Soon, a handful of predominantly white blues bands rose to prominence, including John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in the UK and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the US. During the mid-through-late 1960s, a new generation of electric blues guitarists emerged, including Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, most of whom were, or soon became, frontmen for blues-based rock bands. The late 1960s witnessed the appearance of many such bands, most of which showcased the virtuosity of their lead guitarists. These included the enormously successful "power trios": Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. By that point, blues-rock was recognized as a distinct and powerful force within rock music on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1968, these developments led to the rediscovery of Lonnie Mack's seminal blues-rock guitar recordings of the early 1960s.[88][89]

Still in the mid-1960s, Mack released a succession of new singles on Fraternity, but none were major hits. During this time, Mack built a portfolio as an R&B recording-session guitarist. He worked with Cincinnati's premier record label, Syd Nathan's King Records, playing second guitar on a number of King-label recordings by blues singer-guitarist Freddie King, and lead guitar on several King-label recordings by "The Godfather of Soul", James Brown.[90] Brown's band can be heard accompanying Mack on 1967's "Stone Fox"; beyond that, however, it was a Lonnie Mack R&B guitar instrumental.[91] At the same time, Mack worked steadily as a session guitarist for John Richbourg's Soundstage 7 Productions in Nashville, backing soul singer Joe Simon and several other Richbourg R&B acts on Monument Records.[92] He also played lead guitar on several Fraternity recordings of Cincinnati blues singer Albert Washington.[93] None of the Washington tunes were major hits at home, but one featuring Mack's guitar ("Turn On The Bright Lights"), reportedly stayed on the pop charts in Japan for several years[94] and all were later reissued in the UK.[95]


In 1968, with the blues-rock movement approaching full force, Mack entered into a multi-record deal with Los Angeles' Elektra Records, and relocated to the West Coast. The November 1968 edition of the Rolling Stone contained a major feature article on him, including a highly complimentary ("As a rock guitarist, Lonnie Mack is in a class by himself") review of his 5-year old Fraternity album, urging Elektra to reissue it. In 1970, Elektra obliged, reissuing The Wham of that Memphis Man!, with two additional 1964 tracks, under the title For Collectors Only. An October 1970 review of For Collectors Only in Rolling Stone compared Mack's guitar work to "the best of [Eric] Clapton".

The Wham of that Memphis Man! remains Mack's most significant early album. In 1987, Gregory Himes of The Washington Post wrote: "With so many roots-rock guitarists trying to imitate this same style, this album sounds surprisingly modern. Not many have done it this well, though."[96]

The Elektra years

Mack recorded three new albums with Elektra, including Glad I'm in the Band and Whatever's Right, both released in 1969. These were eclectic collections country and soul ballads, blues tunes, and updated versions of earlier recordings. In contrast to The Wham of that Memphis Man, both 1969 albums emphasized Mack's vocals and de-emphasized his guitar work. Only two instrumentals appear on these albums, a full-length blues guitar piece on Glad entitled "Mt. Healthy Blues", and a re-make of "Memphis". Despite the shift in musical emphasis, Mack's output from this period was well-received. This, from a contemporary assessment of Glad:

Mack's taste and judgement are super-excellent. Every aspect of his guitar bears a direct relationship to the sound and meaning of the song. [H]is voice is strong without straining and of great range and personality. [I]f this isn't the best rock recording of the season, its the solidest.

Rolling Stone, May 3, 1969, p. 28

Representative of these two albums were two consecutive vocals on Whatever's Right. Mack sings Willie Dixon's "My Babe" in a soul style typical of that era. Within seconds of the closing measure on that tune, he begins his vocal on "Things Have Gone To Pieces", a country tune previously recorded by George Jones. He repeated the pattern in Glad by performing a country tune, "Old House", and the soul tune, "Too Much Trouble" in sequence. Mack continued to mix tunes in these and other genres throughout his recording career.

While still under contract to Elektra, Mack was invited to play on The Doors' 1970 album, Morrison Hotel. The original album's liner notes credited him with the electric bass parts on "Roadhouse Blues" and "Maggie M'Gill". However, in the ensuing years, some have questioned whether his contribution to the album stopped there.[97]

Most of the speculation involves the tune "Roadhouse Blues".[98] In an out-take (first released in 2006) from the first day of the recording session, the album's producer, Paul Rothchild, is heard bemoaning guitarist Robbie Krieger's efforts on the tune.[99] Mack appeared the next morning, and the recording session resumed. On the take released with the 1970 album, singer Jim Morrison is heard calling out "Do it, Lonnie, do it!" at the outset of a bluesy guitar break. Twenty years later, the band's drummer, John Densmore, wrote:

Lonnie sat down in front of the paisley baffles that soak up the sound. A hefty guy with a pencil-thin beard, he had on a wide-brimmed hat that had become his trademark. Lonnie Mack epitomized the blues---not the rural blues, but the city blues; he was bad. "I'll sing the lyrics for you," Jim [Morrison] offered meekly. [Morrison] was unusually shy. We all were, because to us, the guitar player we had asked to sit in with us was a living legend.

John Densmore, Riders On The Storm, Dell, 1990, p. 235'

Did Mack play more than bass guitar on this tune? Despite speculation to the contrary, the lead guitar on "Roadhouse Blues" remains officially credited to Robbie Krieger.

Mack's final Elektra album, The Hills of Indiana, was released in 1971. Foreshadowing the next decade of Mack's career, The Hills of Indiana represented a dramatic shift of focus away from R&B and blues-rock, towards the country end of the musical spectrum.

Retreat to Anonymity

As the '70s began, Mack briefly assumed a "Chet Atkins-Eric Clapton role at Elektra, doing studio dates, producing and A&R."[100]

In this capacity, Mack introduced Elektra to a number of artists from Nashville, Memphis and Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and Elektra flirted with the idea of starting a new label to record them.[101] Mack also became involved in producing gospel singer Dorothy Combs Morrison, formerly lead vocalist for the Edwin Hawkins Singers of "Oh Happy Day" fame. Mack recorded Morrison singing a gospel version of "Let It Be" before The Beatles released their own version, and urged Elektra to release it immediately. However, corporate red-tape at Elektra delayed the release, and The Beatles were first-to-market. Undeterred, he urged Elektra to capitalize on The Beatles' success by releasing Morrison's version next. When further delays at Elektra allowed the next release to be Aretha Franklin's own gospel version, Mack resigned his corporate job.[102]

By that point, Elektra had put together an old-fashioned whistle-stop tour of Mack's band, along with Mack's Memphis and Muscle Shoals artists, to be billed as "The Alabama State Troupers and Mount Zion Choir".[103] According to Elektra producer Russ Miller, Mack disappeared six days before the tour was to begin. When Miller found him holed-up on a rustic, backwoods farm in Kentucky, Mack refused to join the tour, citing a dream in which he was hounded by Satan, and from which he awoke to find his Bible opened to a passage commanding him to "flee from Mount Zion". Miller recalled: "[Lonnie's] a real country boy. [T]hat was it for Lonnie".[104] Years later, Mack himself added: "Seems like every time I get close to really making it, to climbing to the top of the mountain, that's when I pull out. I just pull up and run".[105] The lyrics of several Mack tunes shed further light on his decision to withdraw from the spotlight at age 29, accolades in hand and his star as a rock guitarist still rising. According to one tune, he yearned for the simple, anonymous, country life of his youth.[106] According to another, "L. A. made me sick".[107] In a third, Mack equated the pursuit of "fortune and fame" with selling one's soul to Satan.[108]

Thus began more than a decade of near-seclusion. During this period, Mack performed only sporadically, and recorded almost exclusively in a markedly pastoral, country-inflected style. His recordings from this period sold only modestly and reportedly disappointed his blues-rock fans from the '60s.[109]

In 1973, Mack teamed up with Rusty York on a low-circulation bluegrass LP, Dueling Banjos (QCA No. 304). Unavailable for 35 years, Jewel Records re-issued it on CD in 2009 (JRC 920011). It contains 16 bluegrass standards in a dueling-banjos format, with guitar and fiddle. Mack played guitar on all 16 cuts and provided the sole vocal track (the gospel tune "I'll Fly Away") on this otherwise instrumental album.[110]

In 1974, Mack played lead guitar in Dobie Gray's band. Gray is best-known for his hit tunes, "The 'In' Crowd" (later covered by The Ramsey Lewis Trio and others), "Drift Away" and "Loving Arms". As a Nashville-based black artist who wrote and performed both country and R&B material, his career can be seen as a mirror-image of Mack's. Mack's guitar work from this period can be found on Gray's 1974 album Hey, Dixie. Mack wrote or co-wrote four tunes on the album, including the title track.[111] In March 1974, Mack performed as a member of Gray's band at the last broadcast of The Grand Ole Opry from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

In 1975, Mack was shot during an altercation with an off-duty police officer. Mack's account of the incident is preserved in one of his better-known late-career tunes, "Cincinnati Jail".[112] According to the lyrics of that tune, the officer's car narrowly missed Mack while he was walking across a city street, whereupon Mack hit it on the fender, shouting "better slow it down!"; the officer stopped, emerged from his car, shot Mack "in the leg", then hauled him before a judge who threw him in jail. Mack recovered, but once again virtually disappeared from the music scene. During the next two years he neither recorded nor toured, but ran the "Friendship Music Park" in rural southern Indiana, which featured local bluegrass and traditional country artists.[113]

In 1977, Mack signed with Capitol Records. There, he recorded Home at Last, an album of country ballads and bluegrass tunes which attracted little attention. In 1978, he recorded another Capitol LP, Lonnie Mack with Pismo. A somewhat faster-paced album, Pismo featured country, southern rock and rockabilly tunes.

In 1979, Mack began working on an independent recording project with a friend, producer-songwriter Ed Labunski.[114] The intended result was a country-pop album ultimately entitled South. However, Labunski died in an auto accident before the project was completed, and the album was shelved. It was released, in unfinished form, 20 years later. Labunski's death also derailed Mack's and Labunski's plans to produce a young Texas blues-guitar prodigy named Stevie Ray Vaughan, who nonetheless went on to become a key player in Mack's blues-rock comeback during the 1980s.[114]

Shortly after Labunski's death, Mack traveled to Canada, where he entered into a six-month collaboration with American expatriate rockabilly artist Ronnie Hawkins. Hawkins is best known for having founded The Hawks, a popular Canadian roots-rock group which was later known as The Band. Mack's guitar work from this period can be heard on Hawkins' obscure 1981 solo album, Legend In His Spare Time.[43]

Comeback: Strike Like Lightning

By the early 1980s, Mack had been largely absent from the rock music scene for over a decade and his visibility as a popular recording artist had waned considerably. He chose this low point in his career to resume performing and touring, adopting a hard-driving blues-rock/rockabilly fusion style that became the cornerstone of his sound for the rest of his career.

His first album from this period was Live at Coco's, recorded in 1983. It is Mack's only mid-career roadhouse performance preserved on disc. Originally a "bootleg" recording, Mack sanctioned its commercial release in 1998.[115] On Coco's, Mack and his band can be heard playing familiar tunes from the Fraternity era, lesser-known tunes from the '70s, tunes which appear on no other album (e.g., "Stormy Monday", "The Things I Used To Do" and "Man From Bowling Green") and tunes which did not appear on his studio albums until several years later (e.g., "Falling Back In Love With You", "Ridin' the Blinds", "Cocaine Blues" and "High Blood Pressure").

Still in 1983, Mack relocated to Texas, where he played regularly at venues in Dallas and Austin. Early in this period, Mack entered into a performing collaboration with the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. Little known outside of Texas in 1980, Vaughan's own career took off during this period; by 1985 he was an international blues-rock guitar sensation. Mack and Vaughan had first met in 1979,[18] when Mack, acting on a tip from Vaughan's older brother, went to hear him play at a local bar. Vaughan recalled the meeting in a 1985 interview:

I was playin' at the Rome Inn in Austin, and we had just hit the opening chords of "Wham!" when this big guy walked in. He looked just like a great big bear. As soon as I looked at his face, I realized who he was, and naturally he was blown away to hear us doing his song. [W]e talked for a long time that night. [Lonnie said] he wanted to produce us.

Sandmel, "Rock Pioneer Lonnie Mack In Session With Stevie Ray Vaughan", 'Guitar Player, April 1985, p33

Mack and Vaughan became close friends after that first meeting. Despite the generation gap between them, Mack said that he and Vaughan "were always on the same level", describing Vaughan as "an old spirit...in a young man's body".[116] Mack regarded Vaughan as his "little brother" and Vaughan said Mack was "something between a daddy and a brother".[117][118] When Mack was stricken with a lengthy illness in Texas, Vaughan put on a benefit concert to help pay his bills; during Mack's recuperation, Vaughan and his bass-player, Tommy Shannon, personally installed an air-conditioner in his house.[25]

In the purely musical sense, the relationship between Mack and Vaughan began long before they met. Vaughan said that "Wham!" was "the first record I ever owned",[55] that Mack was "the baddest guitar player I know",[119] and that Mack "really taught me to play guitar from the heart".[120] Vaughan's musical legacy includes four versions of "Wham!"---two solo versions[121] and two dueling-guitar versions with Mack.[122] He also recorded Mack's "If You Have To Know",[123] and a take-off on "Chicken-Pickin", which Vaughan called "Scuttle-Buttin'".[124]

Strike Like Lightning cover

Mack signed with Alligator Records in 1984, and, upon recovering from his illness, began working on his blues-rock comeback album, Strike Like Lightning. Mack and Vaughan co-produced the album. It became one of the top-selling independent recordings of 1985.[125] Mack himself composed most of the tunes. Consistent with his live performance style, most of the cuts featured his vocals and driving guitar equally. Vaughan played second guitar on most of the album, and traded leads with Mack on "Double Whammy" and "Satisfy Susie". Both played acoustic guitar on Mack's "Oreo Cookie Blues".

Strike propelled Mack back into the spotlight at age 44. Much of 1985 found him occupied with a promotional concert tour for Strike which included guest appearances by Vaughan, Ry Cooder and both Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, among others. Videos of Mack and Vaughan playing cuts from Strike are found on YouTube and similar websites. In 2007, Sony's Legacy label released a 1987 "live" performance of Mack's "Oreo Cookie Blues" featuring Mack and Vaughan trading leads on electric guitar.[126]

The Strike Like Lightning tour culminated in a Carnegie Hall concert billed as Further On Down the Road, a tip of the hat to Mack's 1964 recording by the same title. There, he shared the stage with blues guitar stylist Albert Collins and blues-rock guitarist Roy Buchanan. The concert was marketed on home video and remains available from Flying V Records on Mack's website.

Late career: Attack of the Killer V

In 1986, Mack recorded another Alligator album, Second Sight, which featured both introspective and up-tempo tunes as well as an instrumental blues jam. In 1988, he moved to Epic Records, where he recorded the critically-acclaimed[127] rockabilly album, Roadhouses and Dance Halls.[43]

Live!: Attack of the Killer V
album cover

In 1990, Mack returned to Alligator to record a live blues-rock album, Attack of the Killer V, featuring two extended guitar solos and expanded renditions of earlier studio recordings. From one review: "This disc has everything that a great live album should have: a great talent on stage, an exciting performance from that talent, a responsive crowd and excellent sound quality...This is what live blues is all about!"[128] Twenty years later, Attack remains Mack's most recent recording as a featured artist. However, he continued to tour for another decade. His most recent work as a session player can be found on the album Franktown Blues, recorded in 2000 by the sons of blues legend Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. Mack played electric blues guitar on two cuts, "She's Got The Key" and "Jammin' For James".[129]


Despite premature reports of his death,[130] Mack lives in rural Tennessee, and is working on a memoir of his experiences as a rock & roll artist.[131] Mack has not toured since 2002, but still occasionally performs at special events.[16][132] On November 15, 2008, Mack was a featured performer at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 13th annual Music Masters Tribute Concert, honoring electric guitar pioneer Les Paul.[17]

Guitar style and technique

In the early 1960s, Mack's extended guitar solos displayed exceptional levels of speed, dexterity and improvisational skill. In Skydog: The Duane Allman Story, guitarist Mike Johnstone recalled the impact of Mack's playing upon rock guitarists in 1963: "Now, at that time, there was a popular song on the radio called 'Memphis'--an instrumental by Lonnie Mack. It was the best guitar-playing I'd ever heard. All the guitar-players were [saying] 'How could anyone ever play that good? That's the new bar. That's how good you have to be now'."[133]

Although from inception Mack's rock-guitar style was steeped in the blues, it is distinguished by fast-paced "fingerstyle" and "chicken picking" techniques traditionally found in country, folk and bluegrass music. His pioneering use of "lightning-fast runs"[134] and machine-gunned, whammy-fired climaxes[18][135][136][137] became familiar features of virtuoso rock guitar by the end of the 1960s.

Close-up photos reveal that Mack typically manipulates the whammy bar with the little finger of his right hand, simultaneously picking at a 45-degree angle with the remaining fingers of the same hand, and bending the strings on the fret-board with his left.[138] Stevie Ray Vaughan: "Nobody can play with a whammy-bar like Lonnie. He holds it while he plays and the sound sends chills up your spine".[139]


Career recognition and awards

Year Award or Recognition
  • Gibson issued a limited-run "Lonnie Mack Signature Edition" of Lonnie Mack's iconic 1958 "Flying V" guitar[140]
  • Lifetime Achievement "Cammy" (presented annually to musicians identified with the tri-State area of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana)[141]
  • Second "Lifetime Achievement" Cammy[142]
  • Inducted into The Southern Legends Entertainment & Performing Arts Hall of Fame[144]

See also


  1. ^ Poe, "Skydog: The Duane Allman Story", Backbeat, 2006, pp. 10-11
  2. ^ Potoski, "SRV: Caught in the Crossfire", Backbeat, 1993, pp. 15-16
  3. ^ see, e.g., Brown & Newquist, "Legends of Rock Guitar", Hal Leonard Co., 1997, p. 25
  4. ^ a b c Pinnell, Richard T. (May 1979), "Lonnie Mack's 'Memphis': An Analysis of an Historic Rock Guitar Instrumental", Guitar Player: 40 
  5. ^ "Landmark Recordings", Guitar World, July, 1980 and July, 1990, p. 97
  6. ^ Guterman, The Best Rock 'N' Roll Records of All Time, 1992, Citadel Publishing
  7. ^ see: Mack bio at http://www.answers.com/topic/lonnie-mack; account of diappearance from 1968 tour: http://www.geocities.com/badcatrecords/MACKlonnie.htm; Peter Guralnick, "Pickers" column, "Lonnie Mack: Fiery Picker Goes Country", 1977, pp. 16,18; Holzman, Follow The Music, First Media, 2000, pp. 366-367
  8. ^ "The Greatest Rock Guitarists", http://forums.nutsie.com/viewtopic.php?t=13741
  9. ^ "101 Forgotten Greats and Unsung Heroes", Guitar Player, Feb. 1, 2007
  10. ^ Sandmel, Guitar World magazine, May1984, pp. 55-56
  11. ^ Digital DreamDoor, "125 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Candidates", http://digitaldreamdoor.nutsie.com/pages/best_halloffame_x3.html
  12. ^ a b Brown & Newquist, Legends of Rock Guitar, Hal Leonard Pub. Co., 1997, p. 87; Sandmel, Guitar World, May, 1984, pp. 55-56).
  13. ^ a b Santoro, "Double-Whammy", Guitar World, January 1986, p. 34
  14. ^ a b Sandmel, "Lonnie Mack is Back of the Track", Guitar World, May 1984, p. 56
  15. ^ a b Dan Forte, "Lonnie Mack: That Memphis Man is Back", 1978, p.20
  16. ^ a b c Poconut.com
  17. ^ a b http://www.cleveland.com/music/index.ssf/2008/11/guitar_stars_pay_tribute_to_le.html
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h McDevitt, "Unsung Guitar Hero Lonnie Mack", Gibson Lifestyle, 2007,
  19. ^ a b c Alec Dubro, Review of The Wham of that Memphis Man!, Rolling Stone, November 23, 1968
  20. ^ "Landmark Recordings", Guitar World, July 1980 and July 1990, p. 97
  21. ^ see, e.g., Bill Millar, 1983 essay "Blue-Eyed Soul: Colour Me Soul"
  22. ^ a b (1) Peter Watrous, "Lonnie Mack in a Melange of Guitar Styles", NY Times, September 18, 1988; (2) McNutt, Guitar Towns, University of Indiana Press, 2002, p. 174: "Today, the Lonnie Mack sound is original roadhouse rock",(3) http://www.rockabillyhall.com/LonnieMack.html
  23. ^ a b ((1)Peter Guralnick, Pickers, "Lonnie Mack: Fiery Rock Picker Goes Country", 1977, p. 16, (2) Dan Forte, "Lonnie Mack: That Memphis Man is Back", 1978, p.20
  24. ^ a b 1963 Stewart Colman, liner notes to album "From Nashville to Memphis", March 2001
  25. ^ a b Michael Smith, "Gritz Speaks With Guitar Hero Lonnie Mack", June, 2000, posted at http://swampland.com/articles/view/all/501)
  26. ^ McNutt, Guitar Towns, University of Indiana Press, 2002, p.174
  27. ^ Dubro, Rolling Stone, March 23, 1968
  28. ^ 1977 interview with Dan Forte, p.21
  29. ^ (See, (1) McDevitt, "Unsung Guitar Hero Lonnie Mack", September 5, 2007, http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/Unsung%20Guitar%20Hero%20Lonnie%20Mack/ (2) Mack bio at http://rockabillyhall.com/lonniemack1.html (3) Sandmel, "Lonnie Mack is Back of the Track", Guitar World, May, 1984, p. 56)
  30. ^ Bill Millar, liner notes to album, "Memphis Wham!".
  31. ^ Lonesome Pine Special, Louisville, KY, 1992, interview posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG58k47ow64
  32. ^ McNutt, Guitar Towns, University of Indiana Press, 2002, p.175
  33. ^ (Sources referring to Mack's musical influences: (1)Bill Millar, liner notes to album "Memphis Wham"!, (2) Sandmel, "Lonnie Mack is Back on the Track", Guitar World, May 1984, at p. 56 (3) Lonnie Mack bio at http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p+amg&sql+11:aifexq951d0e!T1).
  34. ^ Bill Millar, liner notes to album, "Memphis Wham!"
  35. ^ Lonnie Mack bio at
  36. ^ Lonnie Mack bio; McNutt, Guitar Towns, University of Indiana Press, 2002, p. 175
  37. ^ Terry Gordon. "Harley Gabbard discography". Rockin' Country Style. http://rcs-discography.com/rcs/artists/g/gabb5000.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  38. ^ (1) Bill Millar, liner notes, album "Memphis Wham!" (2) Lonnie Mack discography, http://koti.mbnet.fi/wdd/lonniemack.htm
  39. ^ a b c "Lonnie Mack Biography". MusicianGuide.com. http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608003281/Lonnie-Mack.html. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  40. ^ Meiners, Larry (2001). Flying V: The Illustrated History of this Modernistic Guitar. Flying Vintage Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 0970827334. 
  41. ^ See, album entitled From Nashville to Memphis, Ace, 2001, and liner notes thereto
  42. ^ See, albums entitled From Nashville to Memphis (Ace, 2001) and Gigi and the Charmaines (Ace, 2006) and liner notes thereto
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h Mack Discography
  44. ^ a b c d e Bill Millar, liner notes to "Memphis Wham!"
  45. ^ a b c d e f Bill Millar, liner notes to album "Memphis Wham!"
  46. ^ Sandmel, "Lonnie Mack is Back on the Track", Guitar World, May 1984, p. 59
  47. ^ March, 1977 Capitol publicity release entitled "Lonnie Mack"
  48. ^ The Ventures' "Walk, Don't Run" (1960) and Duane Eddy's "Because They're Young" (1960).
  49. ^ Russ Miller, liner notes to album For Collectors Only, Elektra EKS-74077, 1970 and "From Nashville to Memphis" Ace CDCHD807
  50. ^ McDevitt, "Unsung Guitar Hero Lonnie Mack" September 5, 2007
  51. ^ Bill Millar, liner notes to album Memphis Wham, Ace, 1999
  52. ^ Guterman, The 100 Best Rock 'n' Roll Record of All Time, Citaldel, 1992, p. 34; Neil Young: Kent, "Selected Writings on Rock Music", DaCapo Press (2002), p. 299; Ted Nugent: See on-line bio at http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608001532/Ted_Nugent.html; Sandy Bull: http://www.globalvillageidiot.net/Bull.html
  53. ^ a b Poe (2006), "Skydog: The Duane Allman Story", Backbeat: 10–11 
  54. ^ Patoski (1993), "SRV: Caught in the Crossfire", Backbeat: 15–16
  55. ^ a b DVD, SRV Live at the Mocambo, track 13, Sony, 1991
  56. ^ see, infra, under heading "Comeback, Strike Like Lightning"
  57. ^ Benson interview, VHS/DVD entitled "Further On Down The Road", Flying V, 1985
  58. ^ Delehant, "Lonnie Mack Four Years After Memphis", Hit Parade, 1967; Bill Millar, liner notes to "Memphis Wham!"
  59. ^ Alec Dubrow, Rolling Stone, November 23, 1968) Quote: The guitar, always high and uptight, is backed by and pitted against either the chorus, the saxes, or both. But it is truly the voice of Lonnie Mack that sets him apart. He is primarily a gospel singer, and in a way not too different from, say, Elvis, whose gospel works are both great and largely unnoticed. But where Elvis' singing has always had an impersonal quality, Lonnie's songs have a sincerity and intensity that's hard to find anywhere.
  60. ^ Bill Millar (1983). "Blue-eyed Soul: Colour Me Soul". The History of Rock. http://www.soul-source.co.uk/soul-words/blue-eyed-soul-colour-me-soul.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  61. ^ Alabama Department of Archives and History: "Birmingham 1963", at http://www.archives.state.al.us/teacher/rights/rights3/html
  62. ^ Sandmel (May 1984), "Lonnie Mack is Back on the Track", Guitar World: 59 
  63. ^ Sandmel (May 1984), Lonnie Mack is Back on the Track, Guitar World, pp. p59 
  64. ^ Curtis: Lost Rock & Roll Masterpieces Fortune 2001-04-30 Quote: "Why?", Mack wails, transforming it into a word of three syllables. "Why-y-y?" It's sweaty slow-dance stuff, with an organ intro, a stinging guitar solo, and, after the last emotional chorus, four simple notes on the guitar as a coda. There's no sadder, dustier, beerier song in all of Rock".
  65. ^ Compare the vocals on 1963's "The Wham of that Memphis Man!" to those in "Home at Last" and "Lonnie Mack With Pismo", both recorded in the mid-1970s
  66. ^ Watrous, "Lonnie Mack in a Melange of Guitar Styles", NY Times, September 18, 1988
  67. ^ Francis Davis, History of the Blues, Da Capo, 1995, p. 246
  68. ^ "Stormy Monday" is track 12 of the first CD in the set entitled "Live at Coco's". On the same album, hear "Why" and "The Things That I Used To Do"
  69. ^ Stop" appears as track 3 of "Strike Like Lightning". A live version of the same tune appears as track 3 of 1990's "Attack of the Killer V". The tune "I Found a Love" was originally recorded by Wilson Pickett and the Falcons in 1962, and was recorded by Mack on three separate occasions, the last being on "Attack of the Killer V", as track 7
  70. ^ Russ Miller, liner notes to album "For Collectors Only", Elektra EKS-74077; Stuart Colman, 2001 liner notes to "From Nashville to Memphis", with accompanying Fraternity discography
  71. ^ Alec Dubrow, Rolling Stone, November 23, 1968
  72. ^ Alec Dubro, Rolling Stone, November 23, 1968
  73. ^ Guterman, The 100 Best Rock 'n' Roll Records of All Time, Citadel, 1992, p. 34
  74. ^ John Morthland, "Lonnie Mack", Output, March 1984)
  75. ^ (1) Mack discography at http://koti.mbnet.fi//wdd//lonniemack.htm (2) 1987 reissue, without label reference: Himes, "Lonnie Mack" (column), The Washington Post, Feb. 20, 1987 (3) The Wham of tha Memphis Man!, Ace (UK), 2006 (4) ref. to Alligator reissue at http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/weekend/031398_weekend.html and http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/Unsung%20Guitar%20Hero%20Lonnie%20Mack/ (5) 2008 release on Collectables label entitled For Collectors Only, a copy of the 1970 Elektra reissue.
  76. ^ Comprehensive Mack Fraternity Discography reproduced in tabular form by Ace Records, current owner of Fraternity, in the liner notes to CD "Lonnie Mack: From Nashville to Memphis"
  77. ^ Complete Mack Discography
  78. ^ See: Ace CDs entitled "Memphis Wham!"
  79. ^ "Lonnie Still On The Move" and "Lonnie Mack: From Nashville to Memphis", and comprehensive liner notes to each;
  80. ^ see: Flying V's 2-CD set entitled "Direct Hits and Close Calls" and comments re same on Mack's website)
  81. ^ "Landmark Recordings", Guitar World, July, 1980 and July 1990, p. 97
  82. ^ Patoski (1993), "SRV: Caught in the Crossfire", Backbeat: 15–16 
  83. ^ Betts 1985 interview, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v+zORRZ8934wU
  84. ^ Kent, The Dark Side: Selected Writings on Rock Music, DaCapo, 1995, p. 299
  85. ^ Ted Nugent Biography at http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608001532/Ted-Nugent.html
  86. ^ Guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan Guitar World, Nov., 1985, p28 Quote: [T]he way I look at it, we're just giving back to him what he did for all of us. [A] lot of producing is just being there, and with Lonnie, reminding him of his influence on myself and other guitar players. Most of us got a lot from him.
  87. ^ Dickie Betts interview on YouTube "God bless the Beach Boys, but I was really gettin' tired of "Little Deuce Coupe" and all the beach songs, and "Louie, Louie" — which are all great songs, but I'm talkin' about guitar-playin'. And then, here come Lonnie Mack right down the middle of it all. God, what a breath of fresh air that was for me." Allman Brothers guitarist Dickie Betts
  88. ^ Alec Dubrow, Review of "The Wham of that Memphis Man!, Rolling Stone, November 23, 1968;
  89. ^ Bill Millar, liner notes to album Memphis Wham!
  90. ^ see full Mack discography at http://www.koti.mbnet.fi/wdd/lonniemack.htm
  91. ^ "Stone Fox, an anomaly". MOG.com: Spike. 2007-04-20. http://mog.com/Spike/blog_post/65881. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  92. ^ Mack interview from 2000 posted at: http://www.swampland.com/articles/view/lonnie-mack; hear: Joe Simon's album "Monument of Soul" on RPM Records, a recent compliation of Simon recordings from that period
  93. ^ album "Albert Washington, Blues and Soul Man" (Ace, 1999) and liner notes thereto by Steven C. Tracy, Ph. D
  94. ^ Steven C. Tracy, Ph. D.: (1) Liner notes to Ace CD "Albert Washington: Blues and Soul Man, with Lonnie Mack" and (2) Going to Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City, Univ. Of Illinois Press, 1988, p. 165 et. seq
  95. ^ CD entitled "Albert Wahington, Blues and Soul Man, with Lonnie Mack", Ace CDCHD 727, (1999)
  96. ^ Gregory Himes (1987-02-20). "Lonnie Mack". column (The Washington Post). "With so many roots-rock guitarists trying to imitate this same style, this album sounds surprisingly modern. Not many have done it this well, though" 
  97. ^ See, e.g., Walker, "Lonnie Mack Biography", posted at: http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608003281/LonnieMack.html
  98. ^ Walker, "Lonnie Mack Biography", as above; see also, discussion at "Roadhouse Blues", http://top40-charts.info/?title=Roadhouse_Blues
  99. ^ 2006 re-issue of "Morrison Hotel" on CD, Elektra/Rhino No. R2 101173
  100. ^ Rolling Stone, "Random Notes", February 7, 1970, p. 4
  101. ^ Holzman, Follow The Music, First Media, 1998, pp. 366-367
  102. ^ Sandmel, "Lonnie Mack is Back on the Track", Guitar World, may 1984, pp. 59-60
  103. ^ Holzman, Follow The Music, First Media, 2000, p. 367
  104. ^ Holzman, Follow the Music, First Media, 1998, p. 367
  105. ^ Peter Guralnick, Pickers, "Lonnie Mack: Fiery Picker Goes Country", 1977, pp. 16-18
  106. ^ Lonnie Mack Quote: I don't care what you think of me, I'm a-gonna live my life bein' country. Had a fancy job out in Hollywood, everybody said I was doin' good. Had lots of money and opportunities, but I'm a-gonna live my life bein' country.
  107. ^ Song: "A Long Way From Memphis", track 4 on album "Strike Like Lightning", Alligator, 1985
  108. ^ Song: "A Song I Haven't Sung", track 10 on album "Second Sight", Alligator, 1986
  109. ^ See, e.g., Review of Mack's records, http://www.geocities.com/badcatrecords/MACKlonnie.htm
  110. ^ As of July, 2009, the album was also available as a download at http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/8133219-rusty-york-lonnie-mack.
  111. ^ see, Hey, Dixie track listing at http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:wzfrxq85ldke
  112. ^ A studio version of the tune appears as track 5 of the album Second Sight. A live version appears as track 8 of the album Attack of the Killer V.
  113. ^ Peter Guralnick, Pickers, "Lonnie Mack: Fiery Picker Goes Country", 1977, p. 18
  114. ^ a b Mack bio
  115. ^ full Mack discography at http://www.koti.mbnet.fi/wdd/lonniemack.htm
  116. ^ 1990 Lonnie Mack interview by Rikki Dee Hall.
  117. ^ Michael Smith, "Gritz Speaks With Guitar Hero Lonnie Mack", June 2000, posted at http://swampland.com/articles/view/all/501
  118. ^ SRV interview, Guitar World, Nov. 1985, p. 30
  119. ^ As heard on bootleg DVD entitled "American Caravan: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble", recorded in 1986 at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis
  120. ^ Davis, Francis (2003-09-02). History of the Blues. Da Capo Press. p. 246. ISBN 0306812967. 
  121. ^ Video: Live at the Mocambo; Album: The Sky is Crying
  122. ^ Album: Strike like Lightning, Alligator, 1985 and Video: American Caravan, 1986, Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v+rjdbXwD-xnk
  123. ^ Album: SRV and Double Trouble: Box Set, Disc 2
  124. ^ Albums: SRV and Double Trouble: Box Set, Disc 2 and Live at Carnegie Hall
  125. ^ http://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?file=artistdetail&id=834
  126. ^ CD, SRV: Solos, Sessions and Encores, track 7, Epic/Legacy, 2007
  127. ^ Guterman, Rolling Stone magazine, December 1, 1988
  128. ^ Don's Music Views, http://members.tripod.com/~djd3/mack.html
  129. ^ (Bill Massey, May 31, 2000 Review of Franktown Blues, http://www.warehousecreek.com/frank/reviews.htm).
  130. ^ Cooper, B. Lee; Wayne S. Haney (1997). Rock Music in American Popular Culture. Haworth Press. p. 2. ISBN 1560238771. 
  131. ^ See, article entitled "Lonnie Mack Comes Back To Life", at http://rockabillyhall.com/NewsArch02.html
  132. ^ see also, photo of Mack playing at concert posted at http://pureprairieleague.com/benefit/index.htm, and write-up re Mack's appearance at http://www.pureprairieleague.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=830&sid=c35c58dc4fdc2965e52914f77c4ea2a5
  133. ^ Poe, "Skydog: The Duane Allman Story", Backbeat, 2006, p. 10
  134. ^ Alec Dubro, writing for Rolling Stone in November 1968 was the first to comment on this aspect of Mack's style, which undoubtedly derives from Mack's early mastery of bluegrass guitar. Dubro noted the "peculiar running quality" of Mack's solos.
  135. ^ (1) Pinnell, "Lonnie Mack's Version of Chuck Berry's 'Memphis': An Analysis of an Historic Rock Guitar Instrumental", Guitar Player magazine, May, 1979, at p. 41
  136. ^ (2) Sandmel, "Lonnie Mack is Back on the Track", Guitar World, May 1984, at p.56
  137. ^ Lonnie Mack Bio at Lonnie Mack Bio
  138. ^ Gene Santoro, "Double Whammy", Guitar World, January 1986, p. 34
  139. ^ Nixon, "It's Star Time!", Guitar World magazine, November, 1985, p. 82
  140. ^ Meiners, Larry [2001-03-01], Flying V: The Illustrated History of the Modernistic Guitar, Flying Vintage Publishing, p. 13.
  141. ^ Larry Nager, Cincinnati Enquirer, "Lonnie Mack Wins Lifetime Achievement Cammy", March 15, 1998
  142. ^ Russ House, "Lonnie Mack Awarded Second Lifetime Achievement Award", March 15, 2002, Lonnie Mack 2nd Cammy Award
  143. ^ List of Hall of Famers
  144. ^ Full Inductee List

External links


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