The SHOF was saddened to learn of the passing of 2006 Inductee Mac Davis.
Born and raised in Lubbock, Texas, Mac Davis established himself as an all-around entertainer: songwriter, countrypolitan-style singer, film and stage actor, TV and radio personality and performer. He enjoyed success in almost every facet of show business, from the late sixties to the present.
He moved to Atlanta, Georgia, after he graduated from high school, and attended Emory University and Georgia State College. Inspired by another Lubbock boy, Buddy Holly, he formed a band of his own while in college, and moonlighted playing fraternity parties, high school hops, and local clubs around Atlanta.
In the late sixties, Davis's songwriting talent paid off: he wrote several hits for Elvis Presley, including "In the Ghetto," "Memories," and "Don't Cry Daddy." His 1968 breakout smash for Presley, "A Little Less Conversation," became popular again after appearing in the 2001 film Ocean's 11. The following year it was re-mixed by Junkie XL and hit number one in 26 countries.
Hits that Davis wrote and recorded himself include the GRAMMY-nominated "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me," "My Bestest Friend," "It's Hard to be Humble," and "Texas in my Rearview Mirror." He had significant crossover success, with his tunes appearing high on both the pop and country charts.
Besides Presley, Davis has written for Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Bobby Goldsboro, Gallery, O.C. Smith, Freddie Hart, Ray Price and Lou Rawls. Rascal Flatts covered “Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me” on their 2004 album Feels Like Today. In 2010, Davis paired up with Weezer's Rivers Cuomo to write "Time Flies," and in 2013 penned “Addicted to You” for Avicii's debut studio album True. In 2015 he won a BMI Pop Award as a co-writer for Bruno Mars's single "Young Girls."
Drawing on his experience as a musician, Davis hosted Labor of Love, a live radio show out of Los Angeles, playing classic country tunes and interviewing artists and songwriters.
Davis' influence has extended well beyond music. He had his own NBC series, The Mac Davis Show on NBC, and also played Carl, Rodney Carrington's irascible father-in-law, on the ABC series Rodney. On the silver screen, Mac co-starred with Nick Nolte in one of the best-known football movies of all time, North Dallas Forty, and went on to starring roles in The Sting II, Cheaper to Keep Her, and the family film Possums, which delighted audiences at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999.
He's even left his mark on the Broadway stage, spending almost two and a half years playing the title role in Will Rogers Follies, both in New York City and on the national tour, eliciting high praise from theater critics and fans.
Unsurprisingly, Davis received numerous accolades during his rich and busy career, which has spanned nearly half a century. Some of his earliest honors included the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year Award in 1974 and the inaugural People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Singer in 1975. Besides the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Davis was also inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, The Texas Heritage Songwriters' Association and The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2014, Priscilla Presley presented him with the Texas Film Hall of Fame's Soundtrack Award. In 2015, Davis was named a BMI Icon at the organization's 63rd Annual Country Awards.
Davis used his celebrity status to bring about positive change, supporting charitable organizations such as the FAME Girls' Ranch and Pasadena's Humane Society, among others. He has a star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame as well as a very special tribute: Mac Davis Lane, a street named in his honor in Lubbock, Texas, his hometown.
A good friend of the SHOF’s, he was one of the participants in our first event at The Grammy Museum, “Legends In The Round” together with Hal David, Lamont Dozier, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson and Paul Williams in 2010, and just last year kicked off the fall semester of the SHOF’s Master Session at USC/ Thornton School of Music.
Davis is survived by his wife Lise and his three children: Joel Scott, Noah Claire, and Cody Luke.