cloudy.png
Sunday October 25th, 2020 12:22PM

Country star and hit Elvis songwriter Mac Davis dies at 78

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country star Mac Davis, who launched his career crafting the Elvis hits “A Little Less Conversation” and “In the Ghetto,” and whose own hits include “Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me,” has died. He was 78.

His longtime manager Jim Morey said in a press release that Davis died in Nashville on Tuesday after heart surgery and was surrounded by family and friends.

Davis had a long and varied career in music for decades as a writer, singer, actor and TV host and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. He was named 1974’s entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Thank you, dear Lord Jesus, for letting us know the man to whom you gave the most incredible talent,” said Reba McEntire in a statement. “He entertained and spread joy to so many people. What a wonderful legacy he left all of us with his music. Mac was one of a kind. I’m so blessed to have been one of his many friends.”

Born in Lubbock, Texas, and raised in Georgia, Davis was inspired by fellow Lubbock native Buddy Holly, but it was Elvis who gave him his first musical big break. Davis worked as a staff songwriter in Los Angeles for Nancy Sinatra's publishing company when in 1968 Presley cut the funky “A Little Less Conversation," which Davis had written with Aretha Franklin in mind.

Although it had a little success at the time, the song became a bigger hit after Presley's death, being covered by more than 30 artists and topping charts everywhere from Canada to Denmark. Davis' most licensed TV soundtrack song, “A Little Less Conversation” reached No. 1 in the UK in 2002 after it was used in a Nike commercial and was featured in the hit movie “Ocean's 11.”

Davis also helped craft the sentimental “Memories” that was a cornerstone of Elvis’ celebrated 1968 comeback TV special, and two other songs that were key to Presley's revival: The somber ballads “In the Ghetto” and “Don’t Cry Daddy,” both top 10 singles which marked rare times Presley covered material with any kind of political or social message.

“In the Ghetto” was the story of a young Black man raised in poverty who turns to crime and ends up dead, a story Davis would say was based on a childhood friend. “Don’t Cry Daddy,” in which a son consoles his grieving father after the boy’s mother dies, appealed personally to Presley, who lost his beloved mother when he was in his early 20s.

“A small town boy who’d achieved the greatest kinds of fame, he remained a good guy, a family man,” said country star Kenny Chesney. “That was Mac: a giant heart, quick to laugh and a bigger creative spirit. I was blessed to have it shine on me. And Mac, who was joyous, funny and created a family around him, never stopped writing great songs, creating music and inspiring everyone around him."

Davis got a recording deal of his own in 1970, recording “Hooked on Music," “It’s Hard to be Humble,” and “Texas in my Rearview Mirror,” and getting crossover success on pop charts. He had his own TV series, “The Mac Davis Show” on NBC, and also acted in TV and film, including alongside Nick Nolte in the football film “North Dallas Forty.” He even starred on Broadway, in “The Will Rogers Follies” and toured with the musical. The group Gallery had a hit on his song “I Believe in Music.”

“He was the songwriter behind some of the most iconic and timeless songs that transcend genres and generations and was named a BMI Icon in 2015,” said BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neil. “Beyond his extraordinary talent, Mac was a dedicated friend and advocate for songwriters everywhere.”

He also wrote songs recorded by Kenny Rogers (“Something’s Burning”), Dolly Parton ("White Limozeen") and Ray Price (“Lonesomest Lonesome”). He was still writing later in life, getting co-writing credits on songs by Avicii ( “Addicted to You") and Bruno Mars ("Young Girls.")

“Today our country community lost an amazing entertainer, songwriter and artist,” said Sarah Trahern, CEO of CMA. “I remember watching Mac’s TV show as a kid as well as his three years co-hosting the CMA Awards with Barbara Mandrell, which proved his command of the TV medium as well as the music.”

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Local/State News, Death / Obits News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, APOnline Celebrity News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trial in France over artwork seized in anti-colonial protest
A Congolese activist and four others are on trial in Paris on Wednesday on theft charges for trying to remove a 19th century African funeral pole from a Paris museum
8:59AM ( 45 seconds ago )
Armenia, Azerbaijan fight for 4th day over separatist region
Heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh has entered a fourth straight day in the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict in years that killed dozens and left scores wounded
8:53AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Foreign observers wary of 'chaos,' 'rancor' in US debate
“Chaos, interruptions, personal attacks and insults,” one outspoken Chinese newspaper editor said of the U.S. presidential debate
8:52AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Resorts to RV parks: Parents take school year on the road
In RVs, rental homes and five-star resorts, families untethered by the constraints of physical classrooms for their kids have turned the new school year into an extended summer vacation
7:54AM ( 1 hour ago )
James Meredith film weighs 'complicated' civil rights figure
A new documentary is diving into the complicated and sometimes contradictory life of James Meredith, a Black civil rights figure who helped change Mississippi
7:33AM ( 1 hour ago )
For moderator Chris Wallace, debate was runaway train
Fox News' Chris Wallace had the near-impossible task Tuesday of trying to control the first presidential debate as its moderator, and continually expressed frustration with his role
12:48AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Billboard Awards: Alicia Keys, Bad Bunny, Malone to perform
Alicia Keys, Bad Bunny, Luke Combs and leading nominee Post Malone will perform at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards
1:15PM ( 19 hours ago )
Reggaeton redemption: Balvin, Bunny top Latin Grammy nods
At last year’s Latin Grammy Awards, popular reggaeton and Latin trap musicians such as J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Ozuna were dismissed in the show’s top categories
12:46PM ( 20 hours ago )
New this week: Mariah Carey, Gloria Steinem & 'South Park'
This week’s new entertainment releases There's a starry film adaptation of the play “The Boys in the Band” on Netflix with Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells
8:05PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Woman charged in attempted kidnap of Joe Montana grandchild
A 39-year-old woman has been charged in what authorities say was an attempted kidnapping of the 9-month-old granddaughter of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana from his California home
4:35PM ( 16 hours ago )
Judge says new royal book can be used in Meghan privacy case
A British judge says the publisher of Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper can use the contents of a recent behind-the scenes book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in its defense for a lawsuit brought by the duchess
2:05PM ( 18 hours ago )
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, her company honored by MacDowell
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay will be honored next month by MacDowell, which is presenting its inaugural Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy Award to her media company and arts collective ARRAY
11:43AM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Trial in France over artwork seized in anti-colonial protest
A Congolese activist and four others are on trial in Paris on Wednesday on theft charges for trying to remove a 19th century African funeral pole from a Paris museum
8:59AM ( 1 minute ago )
Armenia, Azerbaijan fight for 4th day over separatist region
Heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh has entered a fourth straight day in the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict in years that killed dozens and left scores wounded
8:53AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Foreign observers wary of 'chaos,' 'rancor' in US debate
“Chaos, interruptions, personal attacks and insults,” one outspoken Chinese newspaper editor said of the U.S. presidential debate
8:52AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Economy plunges 31.4% in spring but big rebound expected
The U.S. economy plunged at a record rate in the spring but is poised to break a record for an increase in the just-ending July-September quarter
8:44AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Acquitted Cardinal Pell back in Rome amid Vatican scandal
Cardinal George Pell has returned to Rome after his acquittal on child sexual abuse charges to find the Vatican mired in a financial corruption scandal
8:38AM ( 21 minutes ago )