David Mackay (producer)

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David Mackay
Origin Australia
Genres Pop, Soft Rock
Occupation(s) record producer, musical director, recording engineer, Songwriter
Labels EMI, Polydor Records
Associated acts Cliff Richard, Cilla Black, The New Seekers, Bonnie Tyler and others

David Mackay (born 11 May 1944 in Sydney)[1] is an Australian record producer, arranger and musical director. He began his music career at the age of 15 in a production of Bye Bye Birdie for J.C. Williamson Theatre Company. He also worked for a time recording musical sessions for local radio.[2]


He was classically trained at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he studied piano, clarinet, theory and composition.

Mackay was later head-hunted by EMI Australia, which initially employed him as a Recording Engineer but soon promoted him to "Head of Artists and Repertoire". During this time, Mackay was responsible for producing 30 hit singles and discovering some of Australia's most popular pop acts; he is probably best known in Australia as the producer of most of the Australian recordings made by The Twilights, one of Australia's most popular bands of the mid-1960s; his credits include the band's ambitious swansong Once Upon A Twilight. Mackay's Australian commercial success led to an internal transfer to the firm's United Kingdom offices, where Mackay went on to work at the legendary Abbey Road studios.

Mackay eventually left EMI to set up his own independent company, June Productions Ltd. He also diversified into the medium of television, arranging and producing themes such as Coca-Cola's "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" as well as scores for BBC TV shows Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Carla Lane's Bread and As Time Goes By. The Auf Wiedersehen, Pet project notably generated a hit single, "That's Livin' Alright", by Joe Fagin, which won Mackay an Ivor Novello Award and a BAFTA nomination.[3] In both 1972 and 1973, Mackay conducted the orchestra for the UK's entries in the Eurovision Song Contest.

In 1990, Mackay and Jon English co-wrote a concept album, Paris, which has since been staged as a rock musical in Australia and elsewhere several times beginning in 2003. In 2002, Mackay's career came full circle as he returned to the world of musical theatre as a supervisor to a West End theatre production of 125th Street. In recent years, the Australian music guru continues to work on similar projects.

Selected UK, US & Australian discography[edit]



  • The Happy Prince by The La De Das (EMI/Columbia Aust., 1968)
  • We'd Like to Teach the World to Sing by The New Seekers (1971 UK #2)
  • Circles by The New Seekers (1972 UK #23)
  • Now by The New Seekers (1973 UK #47)
  • Only When I Laugh by Blue Mink (1973)
  • Take Me High: Soundtrack by Cliff Richard (1973 UK #41)
  • Only When I Laugh by Blue Mink (1973)
  • Fruity by Blue Mink (1974)
  • 31st Of February Street by Cliff Richard (1974)
  • In My Life by Cilla Black (1974)
  • It Makes Me Feel Good by Cilla Black (1976)
  • Tarney & Spencer by Alan Tarney and Trevor Spencer (1976) on Bradleys records.
  • The World Starts Tonight by Bonnie Tyler (1977)
  • Take it From the Boys by Marcia Hines (1981 AUS #16)
  • Paris by Jon English and David Mackay

List of acts that have been produced by David Mackay[edit]


External links[edit]

  • Discogs - David Mackay discography