Stints in broadcasting co-existed with further recordings for Starday, Philips, United Artists, MCM and a host of smaller labels. He signed with Hickory in 1970 and had an almost hit with Ladanna. This, and other Hickory and MGM sides, were gathered up on the Discus album, ‘Best Of Bill Mack (If There Is Such A Thing)’. His best known songs include Clinging To A Saving Hand (Connie Smith) and Drinking Champagne (Cal Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Strait).
In March 1969, Mack joined Fort Worth’s WRAP which beamed its 50,000 watt, clear channel signal all over the USA and was probably the most listened to country station of them all. Mack’s all-night ‘Open Road’ show attracted a fanatical audience of truckers, airline pilots and country entertainers. ‘Country Music Magazine’ called him the last real radio star. His autobiography, ‘Spins And Needles’, was published in 1971.
Some forty years ago, Mack wrote the song “Blue” and recorded it for Starday. In 1996 it was a #1 hit for LeAnn Rimes, a 13 year old spring chicken with the voice of a 30 year old. Mack encouraged the much-seized upon media hook that the song was intended for Patsy Cline who never got to record it (though lots of people had including Roy Drusky, Kathryn Pitt, Polly Stevens and yodelling Kenny Roberts). Mack, who keeps on truckin’at WBAP, finally picked up a country song Grammy Award for “Blue” in 1997.
Mack now has a 3 hour program on XM radio where he plays country music.
Edited by johnlaw484 on 1 Jun 2010, 07:05
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