|Birth name||Albert Geoffrey McElhinney|
20 December 1922|
Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia
21 July 2017 (aged 94)|
Benowa, Gold Coast, Australia
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, aircraft mechanic|
Albert Geoffrey McElhinney OAM (20 December 1922 – 21 July 2017), better known as Geoff Mack, was a country singer-songwriter and aircraft mechanic. As a songwriter, he wrote the song "I've Been Everywhere" which was an Australian hit for Lucky Starr in April 1962 and became popular in North America when adapted for Hank Snow in November. More than 130 cover versions have been recorded.
Mack's musical career was established during World War II, he enlisted on 4 June 1942 in the RAAF, and was trained as an aircraft mechanic; he was discharged on 7 January 1946 with the rank of corporal from 62 ACW (Airfield Construct Wing). In 1944 whilst serving in Borneo, his ability to play the guitar and sing was noticed, and he was seconded to entertain the troops with visiting guest stars. In May 1946, Mack was an ex-serviceman performer on a theatre concert, who "was responsible for most of the laughs with his vocal gymnastics, his number, 'In Der Fuhrer's Face', being a gem of its kind, which had the audience in hysterics."
At the end of the war, Mack went to Japan with the Occupation Forces to perform, and was appointed to Radio WLKS as the voice of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces. In August 1950, he returned to Australia after performing for British, American, French, German, and Japanese audiences, including his rendition of "Waltzing Matilda".
His 1959 song, "I've Been Everywhere", became a hit in Australia in 1962 with the release of a cover version by Lucky Starr. It later reached the top of the song charts in the United States, Germany, and Japan. The song has now been recorded in 131 different versions, notably on Johnny Cash's 1996 album Unchained.
Mack was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in Nashville in 1963, into the Hands of Fame at Tamworth NSW in 1978, and he received the Tamworth Song Writer's Association Song Maker Award in 1997.
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- "Roll of Renown". TCMF. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
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- "Family Notices". The Argus (23,844). 6 January 1923. p. 13. Retrieved 15 August 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Family Notices". The Argus (23,623). 22 April 1922. p. 13. Retrieved 15 August 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Second 'Welcome Home'". Windsor and Richmond Gazette. 56 (21). 29 May 1946. p. 7. Retrieved 15 August 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Audiences All Liked 'Matilda'". The Age (29,725). 4 August 1950. p. 6. Retrieved 15 August 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "2013 Country Music Awards – CMAA Awards". AllDownUnder (Lady Luck Enterprises). Retrieved 15 August 2016.