born on 21/1/1942 in Lubbock, TX, United States
died on 29/9/2020 in Nashville, TN, United States
Links www.allmusic.com (English)
|Birth name||Morris Mac Davis|
|Also known as||Mac Davis|
|Born||January 21 1942|
|Origin||Lubbock, Texas, U.S.|
|Genres||Country Music/Pop Music|
|Labels||Columbia, Casablanca, MCA|
|Associated acts||Kenny Rogers, Elvis Presley, Crystal Gayle|
Morris Mac Davis, known as Mac Davis (born January 21, 1942), is a country music singer and songwriter originally from Lubbock, Texas who has enjoyed much pop music crossover success. He became one of the most successful country singers of the 1970s and 1980s. He is also an actor. In 2008, Davis appeared with Barry Corbin, who grew up in Lubbock, in a Toby Keith film, Beer for My Horses.
Career as a songwriter
Davis initially became famous as a songwriter, having early success with the 1969 song for Elvis Presley called "In the Ghetto". He became known later also as a country singer. Especially during the 1970s, many of his songs scored successfully on the country and popular music charts, including "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me" (a number one success), "One Hell of a Woman" (Popular #11), and "Stop and Smell the Roses" (a #9 Popular hit). During the 1970s, he also was active as an actor, hosting his own variety show during this time and also acting in several movies.
Davis graduated at sixteen from Lubbock High School in Lubbock, Texas. He spent his childhood years, with his sister Linda, living and working at the former College Courts, an efficiency apartment complex owned by his father, T.J. Davis, located at the intersection of College Avenue and 5th Street. Davis describes his father, who was divorced from Davis' mother, as "very religious, very strict, very stubborn." Though Davis was physically small, he had a penchant for getting into fistfights. "In those days, it was all about football, rodeo and fistfights. . . . Oh, man, I got beat up so much while I was growing up in Lubbock," Davis said in a March 2, 2008, interview with the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper. "I was 5 feet, 9 inches, and weighed 125 pounds. I joined Golden Gloves but didn't do good even in my division." After he finished high school, Davis moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where his mother lived.
In Atlanta, Davis played rock and roll music. He also worked for the Vee Jay record company (home to R&B stars such as Gene Chandler, Jerry Butler and Dee Clark) as a regional manager, and later also served as a regional manager for Liberty Records. In the meantime, Davis was also writing songs. One of the songs he wrote in 1968, called "A Little Less Conversation" was recorded by Elvis Presley (and would become a posthumous success for Presley years later). Shortly after, Presley recorded Davis' song "In the Ghetto" in his sessions in Memphis. According to maverick record producer Jimmy Bowen, "Ghetto" was originally pitched to Sammy Davis Jr.. Mac, guitar in hand, played the song in a studio, with onlookers such as Rev. Jesse Jackson and other members of the black activist community. Davis, the only Caucasian man in the room at the time would eventually tell Bowen, "I don't know whether to thank ya, or to kill ya." Davis eventually recorded the tune after Presley's version success, but it remained unreleased until a campy Rhino Records' "Golden Throats" compilation in 1991. The song became a success for Presley and he continued to record more of Davis' material, like "Memories" and "Don't Cry Daddy". Bobby Goldsboro also recorded some of Mac's songs, like "Watching Scotty Grow", which became a number one Adult Contemporary success for Goldsboro in 1971. Other artists that recorded his material included O.C. Smith and Kenny Rogers and The First Edition. "I Believe In Music" often considered to be Davis' signature song, was recorded by several artists (including Marian Love, Louis Jordan, Perry Como, and Davis himself) before it finally became a success in 1972 for the group Gallery.
Success as a singer
Davis soon decided to pursue a career in country music. He was soon signed to Columbia Records in 1970. His big success came two years later in 1972 when he topped the Country and Pop charts with the success song "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me".
Davis' work in music seemed sometimes to be overtly sexual. For example, "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me" (in which he pleads with a woman not to get too enamoured of him because he doesn't want to commit to a full-time relationship with her) was one of them, as well as other successful songs like "Naughty Girl" and "Baby Spread Your Love on Me". He wasn't alone in this; many country songs popular during the 1970s and 1980s featured sexual themes.
During 1974, Davis was awarded the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year award. Some of Davis' other successes included "Stop and Smell the Roses" (a number one Adult Contemporary success in 1974) (Popular #9), "One Hell of a Woman" (Pop #11), and "Burnin' Thing" (Popular #53). At the end of the 1970s, he moved to Casablanca Records, which was now vending country music and was known primarily for its success with disco diva Donna Summer and rockers KISS. His first success for the company in 1980 was the novelty song "It's Hard To Be Humble" which became his first country music Top 10. He also had another Top 10 song with "Let's Keep It That Way" later in the year. He achieved other successful songs like "Texas In My Rear View Mirror" and "Hooked on Music" which became his biggest country music success in 1981 going to #2. In 1985, he recorded his (to date) last Top Ten country music success with the song "I Never Made Love (Till I Made Love With You)".
From 1974 to 1976, Davis had his own television variety show on NBC, The Mac Davis Show. He made his feature film debut opposite Nick Nolte in the football film, North Dallas Forty (1979) and as a result, was listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1979" by Screen World magazine.
Davis played Will Rogers in the Broadway production of The Will Rogers Follies. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000. For his contribution to the recording industry, he has a star symbol on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7080 Hollywood Blvd.
In 1980, Davis hosted an episode of The Muppet Show. 
Davis served as the balladeer for the 2000 telefilm The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood , replacing Don Williams, who served the part in 1997's The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!, and Waylon Jennings, who narrated the original Dukes of Hazzard TV show. Davis was the first balladeer to appear on screen to welcome the audience and provide exposition.
From 1999 to 2004, Davis voiced the characters Sheriff Buford (two episodes) and talk radio host, "the Sports Jock" (two episodes), on the animated series King of the Hill.
Davis also guest starred briefly in the 8 Simple Rules episode "Let's Keep Going, Part II" in April 2004 and also had a recurring role as Rodney Carrington's father-in-law on the sitcom Rodney.
Decline and comeback
By the mid-1980s, his career in music was declining. His chart success was decreasing rapidly; Davis was one of many Country singers who had Pop music crossover success in the 1970s and 1980s whose careers slowed down to make way for artists like Garth Brooks and Clint Black. After Casablanca Records closed down, Davis recorded for a short period of time with MCA Records in the mid 1980s. In 1990, he gained attention when he helped write the successful song for Dolly Parton called "White Limozeen". That same year, he also was on Broadway, performing in the show The Will Rogers Follies. Mac Davis was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June 2006.
Davis is honored by the naming of Mac Davis Lane at Avenue Q in his native Lubbock, which he still visits on occasion. He also has a plaque on the West Texas Walk of Fame, beneath the statue of Buddy Holly. He currently describes the golf course as his office.
- Fran Cook (divorced) one son Scott (Scott was the inspiration for the song "Watching Scotty Grow")
- Sarah Barg - 1971 - 1976 (divorced) - no children)
- Lise Kristen Gerard - 1982 - ? two children Noah Claire and Cody Luke 
Mac Davis graduated from high school at 15 and moved to Atlanta to attend college. He lived with his mother and her new husband. At 21, he married a Georgian, Fran Cook, and when their son, Scott, was born a year later, he shifted from playing rock bands to learning the music business via Liberty Records' publishing division. The Liberty job got him to L.A. and made it easier to "pitch my own tunes" to record producers. "One day Fran decided to do her own thing, and she wanted me to do mine." They divorced, and she returned to Atlanta, where she still lives with Scott.
Mac next met Sarah Barg, then 16 and living in his L.A. apartment building with her mother. Two years later they were married. "We talked about having a family, but I was waiting for her to grow up," he says. She left him in 1976 for Glen Campbell and had one child (Dylan) with Campbell, whom she also left shortly after Dylan's birth. "Obviously, I was right," Davis once stated.
Some famous quotes
- "Don't Cry Daddy" is a pretty sad song. He got to the end of it and it was just real quiet when Elvis says, I'm gonna cut that someday for my daddy. And, by God he did. He lived up to his word."
|1972||Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me||27|
|1974||Stop and Smell the Roses||2|
|1975||All the Love in the World||6|
|1977||Thunder in the Afternoon||38|
|It's Hard to Be Humble||3|
|1981||Texas In My Rearview Mirror||12|
|1985||Till I Made It With You||48|
|1970||"Whoever Finds This, I Love You"||43||53|
|"I'll Paint You a Song"||68||110|
|1971||"Beginning to Feel the Pain"||92|
|1972||"Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me"||26||1|
|"Everybody Loves a Love Song"||63|
|1973||"Dream Me Home"||47||73|
|"Your Side of the Bed"||36||88|
|"Kiss and Make It Better"||29||105|
|1974||"Stop and Smell the Roses"||40||9|
|"One Hell of a Woman"||11|
|1975||"Rock'N Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life)"||29||15|
|"(If You Add) All the Love in the World"||69||54|
|"I Still Love You (You Still Love Me)"||81|
|"Every Now and Then"||34|
|1977||"Picking Up the Pieces of My Life"||42|
|1978||"Music In My Life"||92|
|1980||"It's Hard to Be Humble"||10||43|
|"Let's Keep It That Way"||10|
|"Texas in My Rearview Mirror"||9||51|
|1981||"Hooked on Music"||2||102|
|"You're My Bestest Friend"||5||106|
|"The Beer Drinkin' Song"||52|
|"Lying Here Lying"||62|
|1984||"Most of All"||41|
|"Caroline's Still in Georgia"||76|
|1985||"I Never Made Love (Till I Made It with You)"||10|
|"I Feel the Country Callin' Me"||34|
|1986||"Sexy Young Girl"||46|
|"Somewhere in America"||65|
Mac Davis played small roles in the following TV shows and movies:
- 1979: North Dallas Forty
- 1979: Kenny Rogers and the American Cowboy
- 1980: Cheaper to Keep Her
- 1983: STING II - Lead role opposite Jackie Gleason
- 1995: Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
- 1996: Daytona Beach
- 1998: Possums - Lead
- 2000: That 70s Show
- 2004: 8 Simples Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter
- 2004-2005: Rodney
- 2008: Beer for My Horses
- Mac Davis remembers his days in Lubbock | A-J ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
- Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 91.
- Country Music:The Rough Guide; Wolff, Kurt; Penguin Publishing