Nashville, fig. – Country music superstar Mac Davis, who created the Elvis songs “A Little Less Conversation” and “In the Ghetto”, has passed away before starting his successful career. He was 78 years old.
Nashville, Tennessee – February 28: Singer-songwriter Mac Davis performs at City Winery Nashville on February 28, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin / Getty Images)
His longtime business manager Jim Murray said in a press release that Davis died in Nashville on Tuesday after heart surgery and was surrounded by family and friends.
Davis has had a long and varied career in music for decades as a writer, singer, actor and TV show host and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. He was named Artist of the Year 1974 by the Academy of Country Music after success. From songs, including “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me”.
Born in Lubbock, Texas and raised in Georgia, Davis was inspired by fellow Lubbock co-star Buddy Holly, but it was Elvis who gave him his first big music break. Davis helped craft the song “Memories” that was the centerpiece of Elvis’ 1968 big TV show.
Country star Kenny Chesney said, “A little town boy who achieved greatest fame, remained a good man and a family man.” “That was Mac: a giant heart, quick to laugh and a greater creative spirit. I was lucky to shine on Ali and Mac, who was cheerful and funny and created a family around him, never stopped writing great songs, composing music and inspiring everyone around him.”
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Davis landed his own recording deal in 1970, recording “Hooked on Music”, “It’s Hard to Be Humble”, and “Texas in my Rearview Mirror” and crossover success on the pop charts. He has had his own TV series, “The Mac Davis Show” on NBC, and has also acted in television and film, including alongside Nick Nolte in the soccer movie “North Dallas Forty”. He even starred on Broadway in “The Will Rogers Follies” and toured with the musical.
He also wrote songs recorded by Kenny Rogers (“Something Is Burning”), Dolly Parton (“White Limousine”) and Ray Price (“Lonesomest Lonesome”). He was still writing later in his life, earning writing credits for the Avicii and Bruno Mars songs.
“Our country today has lost a great artist, songwriter and artist,” said Sarah Traern, CEO of CMA. “I remember watching the Mac TV show as a kid plus for three years co-hosting the CMA Awards with Barbara Mandrell, which proved her dominance over TV media as well as music.”