Mack performing at Rising Sun, Indiana, in 2003.
|Birth name||Lonnie McIntosh|
July 18, 1941|
West Harrison, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||April 21, 2016
Smithville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Genres||Blues rock, blues, country, southern rock, rockabilly, blue-eyed soul, bluegrass, gospel|
|Labels||Alligator, Elektra, Fraternity, Capitol, Flying V Records, Jewel, King, Ace, Epic, Sage Records, Dobbs Records|
|"Number 7", 1958 Gibson Flying V guitar|
Lonnie McIntosh (July 18, 1941 – April 21, 2016), better known by his stage name Lonnie Mack, was an American rock, blues and country singer-guitarist. He performed professionally from the mid-1950s into the early 2000s. His recording career spanned the period 1958 to 1989.
Despite rave reviews and several brushes with commercial stardom, Mack flew under the radar for most of his career. However, in the early 1960s, he was a "pioneer" and "ground-breaker" in virtuoso rock guitar soloing whose recordings were pivotal to the emergence of the electric guitar as a lead voice in rock music. For this, it has been said that he launched the era of "modern [rock] guitar".
In his 1963 hit single instrumentals, "Memphis" and "Wham!", he "attacked the strings with fast, aggressive single-string phrasing and a seamless rhythm style", to produce a previously unheard sound that was "savagely wild [but] perfectly controlled". These and other Mack recordings formed the leading edge of the blues-rock lead guitar movement of the 1960s and suggested a "prototype" for the southern rock genre of the 1970s. Prominent twentieth-century electric guitarists who have identified Mack as a major personal influence include soloists Stevie Ray Vaughan (blues-rock), Jeff Beck (jazz-rock), Dickey Betts, Warren Haynes and Dan Toler (southern rock), Ray Benson (western swing), Bootsy Collins (funk) and Ted Nugent (hard rock).
He was also highly regarded as a blue-eyed soul singer. Crediting Mack's vocals and guitar solos alike, music critic Jimmy Guterman ranked Mack's first album, "The Wham of that Memphis Man" (1964), No. 16 in his book The 100 Best Rock 'n' Roll Records of All Time.
- 1 Career Summary
- 2 Childhood and musical influences
- 3 1950s: Early career
- 4 1963: "Memphis", "Wham!", and the advent of virtuoso rock-guitar soloing
- 5 Mack's guitar and gear
- 6 Mack's guitar style and technique
- 7 "Blue-eyed soul" ballads
- 8 1964: The Wham of that Memphis Man!
- 9 Chronological significance of Mack's early rock guitar solos
- 10 Mack's impact on other guitarists
- 11 Mid-1960s: Transition period
- 12 Late 1960s: Rediscovery
- 13 1968-1971: Elektra years
- 14 1970s: Withdrawal to the country
- 15 1980s: Rock comeback
- 16 1990-2016: Late career and death
- 17 Discography
- 18 Career recognition and awards
- 19 See also
- 20 References
- 21 External links
Mack began performing professionally the mid-1950s, while still in his early teens. Between 1963 and 1990, he released thirteen original albums. His early recordings represented a unique blend of black and white roots-music genres, including blues, country, bluegrass, rockabilly, 1950s R&B, 1960s soul, and traditional black gospel . Writing for Rolling Stone, Alec Dubro said: "Lonnie can be put into that 'Elvis Presley-Roy Orbison-Early Rock' bag, but mostly for convenience. In total sound and execution, he was an innovator."
He enjoyed his initial success as a rock artist in the 1960s. In 1963, he recorded the seminal blues-rock guitar singles, "Memphis" and "Wham!" for a small Cincinnati label, Fraternity Records. In late 1963, he recorded additional tunes for his debut album, "The Wham of that Memphis Man", also for Fraternity. It was released in early 1964. In the mid-'60s he recorded additional singles for Fraternity and did R&B session work with James Brown, Freddie King, Joe Simon (musician) and others. His recognition as an emerging artist ramped up in late 1968, when the newly founded Rolling Stone Magazine published a retrospective review of his five-year-old Fraternity recordings, extolling his talents as a gospel singer and rock guitar virtuoso. He soon moved to Los Angeles to execute a three-album contract with Elektra Records. While contracted to Elektra, he performed in larger venues, including the Fillmore East and Fillmore West. In 1970, Elektra also reissued a "Collectors" edition of his 1964 debut album.
However, Mack's unpolished, blue-collar persona didn't resonate with hippie-era rock fans, and his country-boy disposition was equally unsuited to both city life and the big business end of pop music. Disillusioned and disaffected after three years in Los Angeles, Mack moved to Nashville to record his final Elektra album; then, in 1971, he returned to his birthplace in rural southeast Indiana. There, for the next twelve years, he assumed the low-profile roles of unheralded country recording artist, multi-genre roadhouse performer, sideman, session musician and rural music park proprietor.
Mack relocated to Austin, Texas in 1983, at the behest of his friend and stylistic disciple, Austin native Stevie Ray Vaughan. In 1985, with Vaughan's help and encouragement, he re-emerged as a rock artist with his indie comeback album, "Strike Like Lightning", a promotional tour featuring guest appearances by Vaughan, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Ry Cooder, and a Carnegie Hall concert with Albert Collins and Roy Buchanan. Over the next four years, he released three more albums, including his recording career epilog, "Lonnie Mack Live – Attack of the Killer V!" (1990). He continued to perform in small venues in the US and abroad until 2004. Thereafter, he retired from performing, except for a few special events.
Childhood and musical influences
In early 1941, when the coal mines closed, Mack's family emigrated from Owsley County, Kentucky for brighter prospects as tenant farmers in Dearborn County, Indiana. One of five children, he was born to parents Robert and Sarah Sizemore McIntosh on July 18, 1941, in West Harrison, Indiana.
He was raised nearby on sharecropping farms along the Ohio River. Although his childhood homes had no electricity, the family used a primitive radio powered by a truck battery to listen to "The Grand Ole Opry" country music radio show. Young Mack continued to listen after the rest of the family had retired for the night, and became a fan of R&B and traditional black gospel music.
He began playing at the age of seven, after he'd traded a bicycle for a "Lone Ranger" model acoustic guitar. His mother, Sarah, was his earliest guitar and country-singing influence. Mack stated:
I started off in bluegrass, before there was rock and roll. My family was like a family band. We sang and harmonized, and Dad played banjo. We were playin' mostly gospel, bluegrass, and old-style country. We played a lot of that old-style Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams kinda music.— Lonnie Mack, 2005
An uncle showed him how to merge a fast-picking Merle Travis country sound with traditional blues-picking styles. Ralph Trotto, a local gospel singer, became a mentor to the youngster. As his skills progressed, he began performing for tips at a rail yard hobo encampment and by the age of twelve he was a sidewalk busker at the Nieman Hotel in nearby Aurora, Indiana.
As a teenager, his playing was influenced by pop/jazz guitarist Les Paul and electric blues guitarist T-Bone Walker while his singing style was influenced by R&B artists Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Hank Ballard, country singer George Jones and gospel singer Archie Brownlee of The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. As an adult, he recorded tunes associated with each of these artists.
1950s: Early career
Mack dropped out of school in 1954, at the age of thirteen, after a fight with a teacher. Using a fake ID, he soon began performing in roadhouses in the Cincinnati area, sometimes with his older brother, Alvin. In his early teens, performing under his given surname, "McIntosh", he was playing guitar in a band called "The Classics", with recurring engagements at the Hideaway Lounge in Hamilton, Ohio. "He was too young to drive, so Don Garland, the keyboard player, used to pick him up to play." Before he turned fifteen, he had his own band.
By the age of seventeen, in 1958, he had begun using the stage-name Lonnie Mack. He and his band, then known as "The Twilighters", performed regularly in the Tri-State Area around Cincinnati, playing rockabilly and R&B-tinged rock and roll.
He played guitar on three low-circulation singles in the late 1950s. In 1958, Mack (backed by The Twilighters) recorded a cover of Al Dexter's 1944 western swing hit, "Pistol Packin' Mama". In 1959, he played guitar on two singles of "The Logan Valley Boys", a bluegrass band featuring his older cousins, Aubrey Holt and Harley Gabbard. One was a bluegrass tune by The Stanley Brothers entitled "Too Late to Cry"; the other, "Hey, Baby", was an original Holt-Gabbard rockabilly tune with close-harmony bluegrass vocals.
"Pistol-Packin' Mama" and "Too Late to Cry" have been unavailable for decades. However, "Hey, Baby" was reissued by Bear Family Records in 2010. On it, seventeen-year-old Mack can be heard providing a Travis-picking guitar accompaniment, punctuated by a brief rockabilly solo.
1963: "Memphis", "Wham!", and the advent of virtuoso rock-guitar soloing
In the early 1960s, Mack and his band (their original name, "The Twilighters", had gone by the wayside) often worked as session players for Fraternity, a small record label in Cincinnati that rented the studios of King Records for its recording sessions. There, he played guitar on a number of singles by local R&B artists, including Max Falcon, Beau Dollar and the Coins, Denzil "Dumpy" Rice (who often played keyboards in Mack's band), and Cincinnati's leading female R&B trio, The Charmaines.
On March 12, 1963, at the end of a recording session backing up The Charmaines, Mack and his band were offered the remaining twenty minutes of studio-rental time. Not expecting the tune to be released, Mack recorded a rockabilly/blues guitar instrumental grounded in the melody of Chuck Berry's 1959 UK vocal hit, "Memphis, Tennessee". He had improvised the guitar solo in a live performance a few years earlier, when his keyboardist, Dumpy Rice, who usually sang the tune, missed a club date. Mack's instrumental take on the Berry tune was so well-received that he adopted it as part of his live act. He called it "Memphis".
As recorded in 1963, "Memphis" featured a then-unique combination of several key elements, including seven distinct sections and an unusually fast twelve-bar blues solo, all set to a rock beat. "An extended guitar solo exploiting the entire range of the instrument rings in the climax of the song in the fifth section. Lonnie Mack begins this portion by quoting several measures of the riff one octave higher than before. From there, he breaks into his choicest licks, including double-picking and pulling-off techniques — all with driving, complicated rhythms and technical precision". Interviewed in 2011, the recording engineer on "Memphis", Chuck Seitz, recalled that it took ten minutes to "set up" and less than ten minutes to record the tune twice.
By the time "Memphis" was first broadcast, in the spring of 1963, Mack had already forgotten the impromptu recording session and was engaged in a nationwide performing tour with singer-songwriter Troy Seals. A friend located him on tour and told him his tune was climbing the charts. In a 1977 interview, Mack recalled, "I was completely taken by surprise. I [hadn't] listened to the radio. I had no idea what was happening". By late June, "Memphis" had risen to No. 4 on Billboard's R&B chart and No. 5 on Billboard's pop chart. According to The Book of Golden Discs, the track sold over one million copies. The popularity of "Memphis" quickly led to bookings at larger venues, tours in the UK and performances with Chuck Berry.
According to musicologist Richard T. Pinnell, Ph.D., Mack's fast-paced interpretation of electric blues-guitar in "Memphis" was unprecedented in the history of rock guitar soloing to that point, producing a tune that was both "rhythmically and melodically full of fire" and "one of the milestones of early rock and roll guitar".
Still in 1963, Mack released "Wham!", a gospel-inspired guitar instrumental that reached No. 24 on Billboard's Pop chart in September. He soon recorded  several more rock-guitar solos in the same unique style, including his own frenzied showpiece, "Chicken Pickin'" and an instrumental version of Dale Hawkins's "Suzie Q".
Although the term "blues-rock" had not come into common usage by 1963, "Memphis" and "Wham!" came to be widely regarded as the earliest genuine hit recordings of the virtuoso blues-rock guitar genre.
Mack's guitar and gear
In the mid-1950s, Mack experimented with the Fender Telecaster and Fender Stratocaster, before settling on the Gibson Les Paul guitar. In 1958, at age seventeen, he bought the seventh (serial number "007") Gibson Flying V guitar from that model's low-volume first-year production run. Dubbing his guitar "Number 7", he used it almost exclusively for the rest of his career. The instrument appealed to him because it sounded like his Les Paul, while its distinct, arrow-like shape symbolized pride in his Native American ancestry. He equipped Number 7 with a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece mounted on a steel bracket spanning the wings of the Flying V's body. He always used the heaviest guitar strings available, usually Gibson E340s.
On most of his early guitar solos, he employed the distortion technique of R&B guitarist Robert Ward, using a 1950s-era, tube-fired Magnatone 460 amplifier to produce a distinctive, "watery" vibrato tone from his guitar. Later, he used a Magnatone 440, running it through a Fender Twin, and, later still, for larger venues, he plugged Number 7 into an electric organ amplifier to enhance his vibrato with a "rotating, fluttery sound".
Mack became closely identified with the Flying V model. Gibson produced a limited-edition Lonnie Mack Signature Edition Flying V in 1993. In 2010, Number 7 was featured in Star Guitars – 101 Guitars that Rocked the World. In 2011, it was featured in The Guitar Collection, a $1,500, two-volume set, that included a detailed essay and lush photo layout for each of history's 150 most "elite" and "exceptional" guitars. In 2012, it was included in Rolling Stone's list of "20 Iconic Guitars".
Mack's guitar style and technique
While Mack's rock-guitar style was firmly rooted in the blues and R&B, he routinely drew from "fingerstyle", "chicken picking" and other fast-paced elements of traditional country and bluegrass guitar. Mack's particular mix of these disparate styles and techniques (all set to a rock beat) imparted a very fluid sound to his instrumentals, leading an early reviewer of his first album to remark on the "peculiar 'running' quality" of his fast-but-bluesy solos. This feature instantly distinguished him from more traditional, genre-bound blues guitarists, as well as the many of the prominent blues-rock soloists who emerged in the mid-to-late 1960s.
Uniquely in early '60s rock, he played blistering leads and complex rhythm guitar simultaneously, prompting the observation that, to the modern listener, 1963's "Wham!" conjures images of "Stevie Ray Vaughan playing lead guitar for the early E Street Band". Mack's pioneering use of lightning-fast runs prefigured the virtuoso blues-rock lead guitar style that dominated rock by the late 1960s.
He used his Bigsby vibrato tailpiece on "Wham!" (and many other recordings) to produce sound effects so distinctive for the time that guitarists began calling it the "whammy bar", a term by which the Bigbsy and other vibrato bars are still known. He was singularly proficient with it. Guitarists typically manipulate the device with the picking hand immediately after picking out a run, while sustaining the last note or chord. Mack, however, customarily cradled it in the fourth finger of his picking hand, tugging on it while continuing to pick and occasionally fanning it rapidly to the tempo of his simultaneous tremolo picking, to produce a machine-gunned, single-note, "shuddering" sound.
"Blue-eyed soul" ballads
While Mack's first recording successes were instrumentals, his live performances typically included vocals as well, and in 1963 he recorded a number of tunes featuring his singing talents. These early "blue-eyed soul" vocal recordings were critically acclaimed. In 1968, after extolling Mack's talent as a guitarist, Rolling Stone said, "But it is truly the voice of Lonnie Mack that sets him apart. [His] songs have a sincerity and intensity that's hard to find anywhere". According to another music critic:
Ultimately—for consistency and depth of feeling—the best blue-eyed soul is defined by Lonnie Mack's ballads and virtually everything The Righteous Brothers recorded. Lonnie Mack wailed a soul ballad as gutsily as any black gospel singer. The anguished inflections which stamped his best songs ("Why?", "She Don't Come Here Anymore" and "Where There's a Will") had a directness which would have been wholly embarrassing in the hands of almost any other white vocalist.— Bill Millar, 1983 essay "Blue-Eyed Soul: Colour Me Soul"
R&B radio stations throughout the South played Mack's gospel-inspired version of the soul ballad "Where There's a Will" in 1963. He was invited to give a live radio interview with a prominent R&B disc jockey in racially polarized Birmingham, Alabama. Mack said that when he appeared at the radio station, the DJ took one look at him and said, "Baby, you're the wrong color" and canceled the interview on the spot.
He recalled that this incident marked a precipitous drop in the airplay time devoted to his vocal recordings on R&B radio stations. Fraternity reacted by delaying release of his deep soul ballad, "Why?" (recorded in 1963), as a single, until 1968, and then only as the "B" side of a re-release of "Memphis". "Why?" received scant notice and never charted, but was eventually recognized as a "lost masterpiece of rock 'n' roll". In 2009, music critic Greil Marcus called "Why?" a "soul ballad so torturous, so classically structured, that it can uncover wounds of your own. Mack's scream at the end has never been matched. God help us if anyone ever tops it".
Despite the de facto ban of Mack's vocal recordings on R&B radio stations, his 1963 cover version of Jimmy Reed's "Baby, What's Wrong" became a modest crossover pop hit (Billboard Pop, No. 93), particularly in the Midwest, Fraternity's traditional distribution market.
In the 1970s, he recorded mostly country and rockabilly vocals, but resumed his prior emphasis on blues-based material in the 1980s. His mature singing style has been described as a "country-esque blues voice" and the "impassioned vocal style of a white Hoosier with a touch of Memphis soul". Examples from the 1980s include a rendition of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday", Mack's own deep soul ballad, "Stop", and a live, gospel-drenched version of Wilson Pickett's "I Found a Love".
1964: The Wham of that Memphis Man!
Still in 1963, two or three months after the release of "Memphis", Mack returned to the studio to cut additional recordings, including instrumentals, vocals, and ensemble tunes. In early 1964, Fraternity packaged several of these along with "Memphis", "Wham!", "Where There's a Will" and "Why?" into an album entitled The Wham of that Memphis Man!
Mack's guitar instrumentals were blues-based, but unusually rapid, seamless, and precise. His vocals were strongly influenced by traditional black gospel music. All the tunes were backed by bass guitar and drums, and many also featured keyboards and a Stax/Volt-style horn section. The Charmaines provided an R&B/gospel backup chorus on several cuts. In The 100 Best Rock 'n' Roll Records of All Time, Jimmy Guterman ranked the album No. 16:
The first of the guitar-hero records is also one of the best. And for perhaps the last time, the singing on such a disc is worthy of the guitar histrionics. Lonnie Mack bent, stroked, and modified the sound of six strings in ways that baffled his contemporaries and served as a guide to future players. His brash arrangements insure that [the album] remains a showcase for songs, not just a platform for showing off. Mack, who produced this album, has never been given credit for the dignified understatement he brought to his workouts.
The Wham of that Memphis Man! was released within weeks of the beginning of the British Invasion. Competing with the likes of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones was a challenge encountered by many, but Mack faced yet another: As observed by music critic John Morthland, "[All] the superior chops in the world couldn't hide the fact that chubby, country Mack probably had more in common with Kentucky truck drivers than he did with the new rock audience". He drifted back into relative obscurity until the late 1960s.
However, most of Mack's Fraternity recordings are not found on the album. Fraternity released a few additional Mack singles during the 1960s, but none charted, and Fraternity never issued another album. Many of his Fraternity sides, including some alternate takes of tunes released in the 1960s, were first released three or four decades after they were recorded.
Chronological significance of Mack's early rock guitar solos
Mack's early solos signaled a new era for the electric guitar in which the guitarist was no longer just a back-up player on stage, strumming chords, but now shared the lead role with the singer, often dominating performances with displays of virtuosity. Consequently, Mack has been called the father of "modern [rock] guitar". His extended guitar solos displayed unprecedented levels of speed, dexterity and improvisational skill in the days of early-'60s rock. Seventeen years after "Memphis" was recorded, the editors of Guitar World magazine ranked it the premier "landmark" rock guitar recording to date, immediately ahead of four full albums featuring renowned late-'60s blues-rock guitar soloists Mike Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton.
In all, it is not an exaggeration to say that Lonnie Mack was well ahead of his time... His bluesy solos pre-dated the pioneering blues-rock guitar work of Jeff Beck... Eric Clapton... and Mike Bloomfield... by nearly two years. Considering that they [were] 'before their time', the chronological significance of Lonnie Mack for the world of rock guitar is that much more remarkable.— Brown & Newquist, Legends of Rock Guitar, Hal Leonard Co., 1997, p. 25
[Mack's early work] was an aggressive, sophisticated, original and fully realized sound, developed by a kid from the sticks. It's questionable we'd have incandescent moments like Cream's  rendition of "Crossroads" without Lonnie Mack's ground-breaking arrangements five years earlier.— Sandmel, Guitar World, May 1984, pp. 55–56
Listen to the original 'Wham!' and 'Suzie Q' for the definitive touch, tone, lyricism and soulful musical attitude. Lonnie figured out before anybody else just how to project the right notes and the ultimate sound that penetrated deep into our sensual souls.— Ted Nugent, March 7, 2012 interview
Mack considered himself a transitional figure: "I was a bridge-over between the standard country licks in early rock 'n' roll and the screamin' kinda stuff that came later."
Mack's impact on other guitarists
Mack has been called a "guitar hero's guitar hero" who "pushed a new generation of white kid guitarists in the unaccustomed direction of soul music". His early solos were not just stylistically novel; they represented a quantum leap in musicianship that served as a challenge to other rock guitarists. In Skydog: The Duane Allman Story, guitarist Mike Johnstone recalled the impact of Mack's solos upon rock guitarists in 1963: "Now, at that time, there was a popular song on the radio called 'Memphis' – an instrumental by Lonnie Mack. It was the best guitar-playing I'd ever heard. All the guitar-players were [saying] 'How could anyone ever play that good? That's the new bar. That's how good you have to be now'".
Prominent guitarists from a variety of popular music genres have acknowledged Mack's influence:
Blues-rock guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan considered Mack a "very big influence". He began playing guitar the year "Memphis" and "Wham!" were released, honing his early guitar skills by playing along with "Wham!" ("the first record I ever owned") incessantly until his father finally destroyed the record. Young Vaughan simply bought another copy and resumed his practice. Regarding his own style, Vaughn said that Mack had "invented a lot of this stuff" and that "I got a lot of the fast things I do from Lonnie". Three years before his death, he listed Mack first among the guitarists he had listened to, both as a youngster and as an adult.
Southern rock lead and slide guitarist Duane Allman played along with "Memphis" in his military academy dorm room, stopping, starting, and slowing the turntable with his foot, until the young prodigy had mastered the tune. His Allman Brothers band-mate, lead and rhythm guitarist Dickey Betts, said: "Lonnie is one of the greatest players I know of. He's always been a great influence on me". "I was really gettin' tired of "Little Deuce Coupe" and all the beach songs, and "Louie, Louie"—which are great songs—but I'm talkin' 'bout guitar-playin'. And here come Lonnie Mack, right down the middle of it all. God, what a breath of fresh air that was for me." Lead guitarist Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Dickey Betts Band, Gov't Mule) said: "Between the era of Chuck Berry and the era of Hendrix there were a handful of guitar players like Lonnie Mack who were making ground-breaking music that paved the way for the Revolution. People like Dickey Betts and Stevie Ray Vaughn would tell you that without Lonnie they wouldn’t be who they were. That goes for all of us."
Jazz-rock guitarist Jeff Beck considers Mack a "major influence". His 1966 Yardbirds-era showcase, "Jeff's Boogie", has been called "a deliberate nod to Mack". As recently as 2015, he included Mack's "Lonnie on the Move" in his standard live-tour set list.
Funk and Soul bassist-guitarist Bootsy Collins of Parliament-Funkadelic: "For me, at that time, Lonnie Mack was the master. Every note that mother played, was, like, 'Man!'. I would try to mimic all the notes he played. Same thing with [Collins' brother] Cat. A Lonnie Mack song come out, he'd learn it backwards and forwards".
Hard rock lead guitarist Ted Nugent considers Mack one of the "eleven greatest guitarists of all time". When Nugent hosted a BBC music broadcast, the first two tunes he played were Mack instrumentals.
Mack's impact continues. When Mack died, multi-genre teen-aged guitar prodigy and 2016 Guitar Gods Festival contestant Tyler Morris stated: "He is one of my favorite guitar players. His playing was real unique and his song-writing ability was incredible. Rest in peace, Lonnie. Your music continues to influence me".
Mid-1960s: Transition period
In the mid-1960s, the American public's musical tastes shifted radically due to the initial, "pop" phase of the "British Invasion". However, at the same time, the "folk music" movement in the US and the popularity of Black American musical forms in both the US and the UK expanded the appeal of classic rural and urban blues among young whites of the baby boom generation.
Soon, a handful of white and integrated blues bands rose to prominence, including John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in the UK and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the US. During the mid-through-late 1960s, a new generation of rock guitarists emerged, including Mike Bloomfield, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Peter Green and Mick Taylor, all of whom were, or soon became, frontmen for blues-based rock bands. The late 1960s witnessed the appearance of many such bands, which typically showcased the virtuosity of their lead guitarists. These included the enormously successful "power trios": Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. By then, blues-rock was recognized as a distinct and powerful force within rock music on both sides of the Atlantic. Eventually, in 1968, this sequence of events led to the rediscovery of Mack's seminal, early-'60s blues-rock guitar solos, "Memphis", "Wham!", "Chicken-Pickin'" and "Susie Q".
Still in the mid-1960s, before Mack's rediscovery, Fraternity released a handful of the many Mack tunes it had recorded earlier. None charted. Fraternity struggled to survive during this period and it was ultimately sold to a new owner for $25,000. Mack soon turned to R&B session work with larger, more successful record labels. At Cincinnati's premier record label, Syd Nathan's King Records, he played second guitar on a number of recordings by blues singer-guitarist Freddie King, and lead guitar on some recordings by "The Godfather of Soul", James Brown. The uncredited guitar solo on Brown's 1967 instrumental hit, "Stone Fox", has been attributed to both Mack and Troy Seals.
During the same period, he found steady work as a session guitarist for John Richbourg's Soundstage 7 Productions in Nashville, backing soul singer Joe Simon and several other Richbourg R&B acts on Monument Records. He also played lead guitar on several Fraternity recordings of Cincinnati blues singer Albert Washington. Like most contemporary releases of the financially distressed Fraternity label, Washington's recordings attracted only modest attention at home. However, one featuring Mack's guitar ("Turn On The Bright Lights"), stayed on the pop charts in Japan for several consecutive years and all were later reissued in the UK.
Mack owned and operated a nightclub in Covington, Kentucky during this period. Reportedly, he also served as the club's bouncer, once ending a fight between partrons by hitting them both with his guitar.
Late 1960s: Rediscovery
In 1968, with the blues-rock and guitar-soloing movements approaching full force, Mack was re-discovered by Elektra Records. He relocated to Los Angeles to execute a three-album record deal. A feature article in the November 1968 issue of Rolling Stone magazine rated Mack "in a class by himself" as a rock guitarist, and compared his R&B vocals favorably with Elvis Presley's best gospel efforts. Rolling Stone urged Elektra to reissue Mack's five-year-old Fraternity album, in addition to the three new albums. Elektra soon obliged, reissuing The Wham of that Memphis Man!, with two additional 1964 tracks, under the title For Collectors Only. Rolling Stone's October 1970 review of For Collectors Only compared Mack's guitar recordings from the early 1960s to the best of Eric Clapton's later recordings.
1968-1971: Elektra years
Mack recorded three new albums with Elektra, Glad I'm in the Band (1969), Whatever's Right (1969), and The Hills of Indiana (1971). In the aggregate, the three Elektra albums represented a marked departure from the strengths and stylistic formula of Mack's earlier work, previously touted by Rolling Stone. They were eclectic collections of country and soul ballads, blues tunes, and updated versions of earlier recordings.
In contrast to The Wham of that Memphis Man, both 1969 albums emphasized Mack's vocals and de-emphasized his guitar work. Only two instrumentals appear on them, i.e., a full-length blues-guitar piece on Glad entitled "Mt. Healthy Blues", and a re-make of "Memphis". While Mack's Fraternity recordings had been known for seamlessly blending distinct genres within individual tunes, his 1969 Elektra albums presented individual tunes from distinct genres in a contrasting way. On "Whatever's Right", Mack sang Willie Dixon's "My Babe" in a soul style. Within seconds of the closing measure, he shifted stylistic gears and began his vocal on "Things Have Gone to Pieces", a country tune previously recorded by George Jones. He repeated the pattern of contrasts in Glad by performing a soul tune, "Too Much Trouble", and a country tune, "Old House", back-to-back.
Despite the shifts in style, emphasis and general approach, Mack's recording output from this period was well received by music critics. A contemporary assessment of Glad opined:
Mack's taste and judgment are super-excellent. Every aspect of his guitar bears a direct relationship to the sound and meaning of the song. [H]is voice is strong without straining and of great range and personality. [I]f this isn't the best rock recording of the season, it's the solidest. – Rolling Stone, May 3, 1969, p. 28.
During this period, he regularly played large venues, including the Fillmore East and Fillmore West. However, he stuck with his old roadhouse-sized sound equipment, with surprising results. Elektra recording engineer Bruce Botnick recalled:
We saw him on a bill at Winterland with Johnny Winter, and Fender had populated the stage with Fender Twins and a wall of amplifiers for Winter. It was beyond loud. Then, out comes Lonnie Mack with his one-foot square amp and [his band-mates all plugged-in to] midget amps. Everyone crowded up to the stage. The Mack sound was pure and better-integrated - it was fantastic. Johnny Winter just scratched his head in awe.— Houghton, Becoming Elektra, 1st Ed., 2010, Jawbone Press, p. 245
In addition to his solo dates during this period, he toured with Elektra label-mates The Doors and, on November 5, 1969, he served as a recording-session bassist on their album Morrison Hotel. The Doors' John Densmore recalled:
Lonnie sat down in front of the paisley baffles that soak up the sound. A hefty guy with a pencil-thin beard, he had on a wide-brimmed hat that had become his trademark. Lonnie Mack epitomized the blues; he was bad. 'I'll sing the lyrics for you', Jim Morrison offered meekly. Jim was unusually shy. We all were, because to us, the guitar player we had asked to sit in with us was a living legend.— John Densmore, Riders on the Storm, 1990
While in the studio for Morrison Hotel, The Doors recorded an instrumental entitled Blues for Lonnie. It was released many years later as a recording session out-take.
Upon completing his 1969 albums, Mack assumed a "Chet Atkins-Eric Clapton role at Elektra, doing studio dates, producing and A&R." In that role, he helped to recruit a number of country and blues artists from Nashville, Memphis, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Elektra considered the launch of a specialty label to record them. Mack was instrumental in signing Mickey Newbury, but couldn't generate much interest in some other prospects, including Roberta Flack. He then tried to sign Carole King, but Elektra rejected her on the grounds that they already had Judy Collins. Frustrated, he finally attempted to interest Elektra in gospel singer Dorothy Combs Morrison, the former lead vocalist for the Edwin Hawkins Singers of "Oh Happy Day" fame. Mack had recorded Morrison singing a gospel-esque version of The Beatles' "Let It Be", and sought permission to release it; management's response was delayed, however, due to ongoing negotiations for the label's sale to Warner Brothers, allowing a competing label to seize the initiative and release Aretha Franklin's own gospel version first. "That bummed me out", Mack said. According to a close associate, Mack "had no tolerance for the internal politics of the music business". He resigned from his A&R job.
By that point, Elektra had put together a musical whistle-stop touring group, including Mack, billed as "The Alabama State Troupers and Mount Zion Choir". According to Elektra producer Russ Miller, Mack disappeared six days before the tour was to begin. Miller found him 2000 miles from Los Angeles, ensconced at a rustic farm in Kentucky, and implored him to join the tour. Mack refused, citing a nightmare during his last night in Los Angeles, in which he and his family had been pursued by Satan. He told Miller that when he awoke in a sweat, he found his Bible opened to a passage warning him to "flee from Mount Zion". Miller, a former evangelist preacher, knew Mack's mind, and left for California without Mack. Later, he said: "[Lonnie's] a real country boy. [T]hat was it for Lonnie".
1970s: Withdrawal to the country
Mack's final Elektra album, The Hills of Indiana, was released in 1971. Foreshadowing the next phase of his career, it completed Mack's shift of focus away from high-octane R&B and blues-rock, towards the pastoral, country end of the musical spectrum. "Asphalt Outlaw Hero", a southern rock tune with a blistering guitar solo, came closest to the style of Mack's classic recordings from the early 1960s; otherwise, Hills was a collection of relatively laid-back, country-flavored tunes with an overlay of compatible stylistic elements drawn from the overall sound of The Band and the contemporary singer-songwriter movement. While recording the album in Nashville, Mack and his family lived in a converted school bus that he parked in the studio's parking lot. He cut a hole in the roof to vent a wood-burning stove. "He was a mountain man", said the studio's owner. "He was just a really funky guy. He didn’t have any airs about him, just plain old funky."
The Hills of Indiana attracted little attention. His contract with Elektra fulfilled, Mack began a lengthy period in which he adopted the roles of low-profile country recording artist, multi-genre roadhouse performer, sideman, session musician and rural music park proprietor. His recordings during this period display only rare glimpses of his celebrated guitar virtuosity. Over the next decade-and-a-half, he slipped back into a state of relative anonymity.
Mack addressed his withdrawal from the rock spotlight in a 1977 interview:
Seems like every time I get close to really making it, to climbing to the top of the mountain, that's when I pull out. I just pull up and run.— Lonnie Mack, 1977
The lyrics of his songs provided further insight. In one song, he equated the pursuit of "fortune and fame" with selling one's soul to Satan, allowing the "body to live while the soul is left to rot". In other songs, he expressed love for country living and distaste for city living.
Like country living, country music was both a passion and a refuge for Mack. In his late-1960s heyday as a rock performer, he was fond of organizing after-hours country jam sessions with other rock performers. He recalled one such session in which he and Janis Joplin sang a duet on a George Jones song, "Things Have Gone To Pieces", accompanied by Jimi Hendrix on electric guitar and Jerry Garcia on pedal steel.
In 1975, Mack was shot during an altercation with an off-duty police officer. He memorialized the incident in one of his better-known late-career tunes, "Cincinnati Jail". According to the lyrics, the officer's unmarked car narrowly missed Mack while he was walking across a city street. As it brushed past him, Mack hit it on the fender, shouting "better slow it down!". The officer stopped, emerged from his car, shot Mack "in the leg", then hauled him before a judge, who threw Mack in jail with his "leg still full of lead". Later, in an interview, Mack contended that the off-duty officer was drunk, but admitted that he, Mack, was wielding a machete at the time, and might have slashed the officer's car with it. He said that despite the song's reference to being shot in the leg, he was actually shot "in the ass", that the bullet had passed all the way through him and that "another inch and a half and I would have been singing soprano". Mack recovered, but for the next several years he kept a low profile, performing only locally at his "Friendship Music Park" in rural southern Indiana (a venue he provided for bluegrass and traditional country artists) except for a 1977 "Save the Whales" benefit concert in Japan.
In 1979, Mack began working on an independent country album entitled "South" with a friend, producer-songwriter Ed Labunski. However, Labunski was killed in an auto accident mid-project, and demos from the project were shelved for twenty years. Labunski's death also derailed Mack's and Labunski's plans to produce then-unknown Texas blues-guitar prodigy Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was destined to play a key role in Mack's blues-rock comeback a few years later.
1980s: Rock comeback
By the early 1980s, Mack had been largely absent from the rock-music scene for over a decade, and his visibility as a recording artist had waned considerably. However, he had not been forgotten entirely, as demonstrated by an article entitled "Won't You Come Back, Lonnie Mack?" in the May, 1981 issue of Guitar World magazine.
His first recording from this period was Live at Coco's, a Kentucky roadhouse performance from 1983. Originally a bootleg recording, it wasn't released commercially until 1998. On Coco's, Mack and his band can be heard playing familiar tunes from the Fraternity era, lesser-known tunes from the 1970s, tunes that appear on no other album (e.g., "Stormy Monday", "The Things I Used to Do" and "Man from Bowling Green") and tunes that did not appear on his studio albums until several years later (e.g., "Falling Back in Love with You", "Ridin' the Blinds", "Cocaine Blues" and "High Blood Pressure").
Also in 1983, he relocated to Spicewood, Texas, near Austin, and began playing regularly at Texas venues. Early in this period, he entered into a professional collaboration with local guitar phenom Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was soon to become an international blues-rock guitar sensation. Mack and Vaughan had first met in 1979, when Mack, acting on a tip from Vaughan's older brother, Jimmie Vaughan, went to hear him play at a local bar. Vaughan recalled the meeting:
I was playin' at the Rome Inn in Austin, and we had just hit the opening chords of "Wham!" when this big guy walked in. He looked just like a great big bear. As soon as I looked at his face, I realized who he was, and naturally he was blown away to hear us doing his song. [W]e talked for a long time that night. [Lonnie said] he wanted to produce us.— Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1985
Mack and Vaughan became close friends. Despite the generation gap between them, Mack said that he and Vaughan "were always on the same level", describing Vaughan as "an old spirit...in a young man's body". Mack regarded Vaughan as his "little brother" and Vaughan considered Mack "something between a daddy and a brother". When Mack was stricken with a lengthy illness in Texas, Vaughan put on a benefit concert to help pay his bills; during Mack's recuperation, Vaughan and his bass-player, Tommy Shannon, personally installed an air-conditioner in Mack's house.
Vaughan called Mack "the baddest guitar player I know" and credited Mack with "[teaching] me to play guitar from the heart". Vaughan's musical legacy includes four versions of "Wham!", i.e., two solo versions and two dueling-guitar versions with Mack. He also recorded Mack's "If You Have to Know" and "Scuttle-Buttin"", an instrumental homage to Mack's frenzied 1964 guitar showcase, "Chicken-Pickin".
Mack signed with Alligator Records in 1984, and, upon recovering from his illness, began working on his rock comeback album, Strike Like Lightning. It became one of the top-selling independent recordings of 1985. Mack and Vaughan co-produced the album. Mack himself composed most of the tunes, which featured his vocals and driving guitar equally. Vaughan played second guitar on most of the album and traded leads with Mack on "Double Whammy" and "Satisfy Susie". Both played acoustic guitar on Mack's "Oreo Cookie Blues" and they sang a duet on Mack's "If You Have to Know".
Strike propelled Mack back into the spotlight at age 44. Much of 1985 found him occupied with a promotional concert tour for Strike that included guest appearances by Vaughan and Ry Cooder, as well as Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, among others. Videos of Mack and Vaughan playing cuts from Strike are found on YouTube and similar websites. In 2007, Sony's Legacy label released a 1987 "live" performance of Mack's "Oreo Cookie Blues" featuring Mack and Vaughan trading leads on electric guitar.
The Strike Like Lightning tour culminated in a Carnegie Hall concert billed as Further on down the Road. There, he shared the stage with blues-guitar stylist Albert Collins and multi-genre guitar virtuoso Roy Buchanan. The concert was marketed on home video.
In 1986, Mack recorded another Alligator album, Second Sight, featuring both introspective and up-tempo tunes as well as an instrumental blues jam. In 1988, he moved to Epic Records, where he recorded the critically acclaimed rockabilly album, Roadhouses and Dance Halls, including the autobiographical single, "Too Rock For Country". In 1989, Mack performed on Saturday Night Live, as the guest of the SNL house band's guitarist.
In 1989, he returned to Alligator to record a live blues-rock album, Lonnie Mack Live – Attack of the Killer V, featuring two extended guitar solos and expanded renditions of earlier studio recordings. From one review: "This disc has everything that a great live album should have: a great talent on stage, an exciting performance from that talent, a responsive crowd and excellent sound quality ... This is what live blues is all about!" Attack was his final album as a featured artist.
1990-2016: Late career and death
After "Attack of the Killer V", Mack moved to middle Tennessee, started a website and founded a record company to distribute his music.
During the 1990s, he continued to tour America and Europe, performing in small venues and at music festivals. In 2000, he appeared as a guest artist on the album Franktown Blues, by the sons of blues legend Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, contributing guitar solos on two songs. That same year, he appeared as songwriter and guitarist on the country-rock album of a friend, Jack Holland, entitled "The Pressure's All Mine".
I don’t miss the road part of it so much, because I’m sorta burnt out on all the traveling, but I miss the stage. I miss the performing and making people happy. I ain’t got no regrets, but at the same time, it ain’t something that I would recommend to a young kid right now like I used to, because you have no control of anything anymore. The only way you can make any money is to do what everybody's tellin’ me I need to do: Go back out and tour and get the money at the door. That's the only sure money there is. I mean, you’d better love it. I mean, dag-gone! Why I got into it in the first place wasn’t about the money. I got into it because I loved it."— Lonnie Mack, 2007
On November 15, 2008, he was a featured performer at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's thirteenth annual Music Masters Tribute Concert, soloing on "Wham!" in a 93rd birthday tribute to electric-guitar pioneer Les Paul. A year later, he spontaneously took the stage at a backwoods Tennessee roadhouse, and "proceeded to officially tear the roof off the place", playing "Cincinnati Jail" on the house band guitarist's instrument. "He peeled the paint off the walls with my rig. His (my?) guitar was smoking. Sounded like the breathing of a very large, wild animal. His band leading skills were also awesome. Lots of pointing at people to change dynamics and cue solos. He owned the stage...Crowd went nuts, people were taking pics with their camera phones. People were screaming, everybody started dancing, it was great. He cut my other lead player's head clean off..."  Mack was scheduled to close out the Clearwater (FL) Blues Festival on February 21, 2010, but had to cancel due to inability to assemble a band in time, and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers took his place. On June 5–6, 2010, he played at an invitation-only reunion concert with the surviving members of his original band. It was his final public performance.
In 2011, he was working on a memoir and engaged in a songwriting collaboration with award-winning country and blues tunesmith Bobby Boyd. Also in 2011, he released some informally recorded compositions on his website, including the acoustic blues single "The Times Ain't Right".
In 2012, guitarist Travis Wammack asked Mack to join him on a tour to be billed as the "Double Mack Attack". Mack declined, stating that he "wasn't in good shape", adding that he was no longer able to stand while playing and that the angular shape of Number 7 precluded him from playing it while sitting.
Lonnie Mack died of natural causes on April 21, 2016, at a country hospital near his log-cabin home, seventy miles east of Nashville, Tennessee. He had often told friends of a lifelong recurring dream, set near his childhood homes, in which, "his body [flew] effortlessly across the Ohio River." He was buried on a hillside overlooking the river, near the scenes of his youth, in Aurora, Indiana.
- 1964: The Wham of that Memphis Man!
- 1969: Glad I'm in the Band
- 1969: Whatever's Right
- 1971: The Hills of Indiana
- 1973: Dueling Banjos (with Rusty York)
- 1977: Home At Last
- 1978: Lonnie Mack With Pismo
- 1980: South (rel. 1999)
- 1983: Live at Coco's (rel. 1999)
- 1985: Strike Like Lightning
- 1986: Second Sight
- 1988: Roadhouses and Dance Halls
- 1990: Attack of the Killer V
Career recognition and awards
|Year||Award or recognition|
|1993||Gibson Guitar Corporation issued a limited-run "Lonnie Mack Signature Edition" of "Number 7", Lonnie Mack's iconic 1958 "Flying V" guitar|
|1998||Lifetime Achievement "Cammy" ("Cammy" is the nickname for the Cincinnati Enquirer Pop Music Award, which is presented annually to musicians identified with the tri-State area of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana)|
|2001||Inducted into the Southeastern Indiana Musician's Association Hall of Fame|
|2001||Inducted into the International Guitar Hall of Fame|
|2002||Second "Lifetime Achievement" Cammy|
|2005||Inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame|
|2006||Inducted into The Southern Legends Entertainment & Performing Arts Hall of Fame|
|2011||Mack's "Number 7" was judged among the world's 150 "most elite guitars"|
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (September 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Except for brief periods in the '60s and '80s, Mack was a low-profile commercial artist and, consequently, was "largely unknown to mainstream [rock] audiences" for most of his career. Kreps, Lonnie Mack, blues-rock guitar great, dead at 74", Rolling Stone online, April 23, 2016, at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/lonnie-mack-blues-rock-guitar-great-dead-at-74-20160423. As noted in the body of this article, Mack had only two top-30 hits ("Memphis" at No. 5 and Wham!" at No. 24, both in 1963) and only one gold (million-selling) record ("Memphis" again), and spent all but a few years of his long career performing in smaller venues. All of the "prominent guitarists" mentioned in this article for having cited Mack as "a major influence" became far more widely known to record-buying music fans. In the end, Mack was much more an influential trend-setter than a pop music celebrity. Mack himself said that while he had "never made it real big" in record sales, he was proud to know that he had the respect of "other entertainers". See, Mack interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6bJ3ehHpo0
- (1)Kreps, Lonnie Mack, blues-rock guitar great, dead at 74", Rolling Stone online, April 23, 2016, at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/lonnie-mack-blues-rock-guitar-great-dead-at-74-20160423.; (2) Kerzner, "Breaking - Pioneering Guitarist Lonnie Mack dead at 74", 4/22/2016, at https://www.americanbluesscene.com/2016/04/breaking-pioneering-guitarist-lonnie-mack-dead-at-74/"
- "Unsung Guitar Hero: Lonnie Mack". .gibson.com. July 14, 1985. Retrieved May 18, 2014., published September 5, 2007
- "20 Iconic Guitars Pictures – Lonnie Mack's Flying V". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 18, 2014. See also, (1)Sandmel, Guitar World, May 1984, pp. 55–56 and (2) section herein entitled "Mack's impact on other guitarists"
- (1) See, generally, section herein entitled "Chronological significance of Mack's early guitar solos". (2) According to Guitar World magazine, his innovative guitar style stamped its imprint on emerging rock-guitar soloists from the 1960s through the 1980s, "from Eric Clapton to Duane Allman to Stevie Ray Vaughan," (Santoro, "Double-Whammy", Guitar World, January 1986, p. 34) and "from Ted Nugent to Mike Bloomfield." ("Landmark Recordings", Guitar World, July 1980, as republished in Guitar World, July 1990, p. 97).
- see, e.g., (1) Kot, "He Wrote The Book", Chicago Tribune online, 12/3/1989 ("With the wiggle of a whammy bar and a blinding run of notes up and down the neck of his classic Gibson Flying V, Lonnie Mack launched the modern guitar era 26 years ago."); (2) Vinson, "Don't Procrastinate - Be Rock Solid", Murfreesboro Post online, 2/6/2010 (referring to Mack as "The Father of Modern Guitar"); (3) Mike Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix were essentially unknown artists when Mack released "Memphis" and "Wham" in 1963 and his first album in early 1964 . They emerged as new, and then, major, guitar talents over the next several years.
- Guitar World, January 13, 2012, as preserved at http://www.guitarworld.com/talkin-blues-lonnie-mack-and-birth-blues-rock
- Hickey, "Peter Green, Lonnie Mack and Gatemouth Brown", The Immortal Jukebox, August 15, 2015, @ https://theimmortaljukebox.com/2015/08/15/peter-green-lonnie-mack-gatemouth-brown-guitar-guitar-guitar/.
- See, section herein entitled "'Memphis', 'Wham!' and the advent of rock guitar soloing".
- (1) Music historian Dick Shurman told the Washington Post: "I think of him as a prototype of what later would be called Southern rock. His music was a blend — it wasn’t a conscious blend — he brought black and white styles together seamlessly." McCardle, Washington Post, "Lonnie Mack, guitarist and singer who influenced blues and rock acts, dies at 74", https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/lonnie-mack-guitarist-and-singer-who-influenced-blues-and-rock-acts-dies-at-74/2016/04/25/5c581f3c-0a44-11e6-bfa1-4efa856caf2a_story.html. See also, (2) Sandmel, "The Allman Brothers Band Live at Ludlow Garage – 1970", @ http://www.spectratechltd.com/extrapages/Allman%20Brothers%20-%20Live%20at%20Ludlow%20Garage%20CD%20-%20cover%20&%20notes.pdf: "Thus....King Records and local legend Lonnie Mack...helped shape Southern Rock...".
- See, section entitled "Mack's impact on other guitarists".
- See, section entitled "Blue-eyed soul ballads".
- Guterman, The Best Rock 'N' Roll Records of All Time, 1992, Citadel Publishing
- Peter Watrous, "Lonnie Mack in a Melange of Guitar Styles", New York Times, September 18, 1988
- McNutt, Guitar Towns, University of Indiana Press, 2002, p. 174
- Cross-genre blending didn't start or end with Lonnie Mack. It has always existed. Major pre-Mack rockabillly artists Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry based their careers the mass appeal of their genre-blending approaches to pop music. Their popularity trumped the music industry's rigid demographic categories: Country for rural whites, R&B for urban blacks, and so forth. Mack's music can be seen as a continuation of a then-new genre-blending trend. Fast forward to today: Genre-blending has gone mainstream. See: Duah, "Genre-blending: the new form of mainstrean music", July 14, 2015, at http://thisisvinylhouse.com/genre-blending-new-mainstream-music/. Consider that, in 2016, the winner of "The Voice", Sundance Head is most commonly described as a "country-soul" artist, fluent in both languages and an expert at blending them in a way that appeals to multiple demographic categories. As an early country-soul genre-blender, however, Mack was acutely aware that his music did not fit hidebound industry notions of demographic marketing. Hear his 1988 hit single "Too Rock For Country" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dwpd_f4t8U8
- Rolling Stone, March 23, 1968
- See, section herein entitled "Mid-1960s: Transition period", and references therein.
- Alec Dubro, Review of "The Wham of that Memphis Man!", Rolling Stone, November 23, 1968.
- (1) Deccio, "Lonnie Mack Dead", April 24, 2016, http://www.inquisitr.com/3029420/lonnie-mack-dead-guitarist-and-vocalist-who-pioneered-blues-rock-dies-at-74/; (2) See, poster of Mack's 6-day run at the Fillmore West in July, 1969 at http://www.classicposters.com/Johnny_Winter/poster/Bill_Graham/180
- As observed by music critic John Morthland, "[All] the superior chops in the world couldn't hide the fact that chubby, country Mack probably had more in common with Kentucky truck drivers than he did with the new rock audience". John Morthland, "Lonnie Mack", Output, March 1984; see also, account of Elektra producer Russ Miller, in Holzman, Follow the Music, First Media. 1998, at p. 367
- Interview with music historian Dick Shurman ("Mack's temperament wasn't suited to stardom. He didn't like cities or the business."), McCardle, Washington Post, "Lonnie Mack, guitarist and singer who influenced blues and rock acts, dies at 74" (2016), https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/lonnie-mack-guitarist-and-singer-who-influenced-blues-and-rock-acts-dies-at-74/2016/04/25/5c581f3c-0a44-11e6-bfa1-4efa856caf2a_story.html
- Lyrics to Mack's tune, "Country" (1976): I don't care what you think of me, I'm a-gonna live my life bein' country. Had a fancy job out in Hollywood, everybody said I was doin' good. Had lots of money and opportunities, but I'm a-gonna live my life bein' country.
- (1) Sandmel, "Lonnie Mack is Back on the Track", Guitar World, May 1984, pp. 59–60; (2) Peter Guralnick, Pickers, "Lonnie Mack: Fiery Picker Goes Country", 1977, pp. 16–18; (3) Interview with music historian Dick Shurman ("Mack's temperament wasn't suited to stardom. He didn't like cities or the business."), McCardle, Washington Post, "Lonnie Mack, guitarist and singer who influenced blues and rock acts, dies at 74" (2016), https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/lonnie-mack-guitarist-and-singer-who-influenced-blues-and-rock-acts-dies-at-74/2016/04/25/5c581f3c-0a44-11e6-bfa1-4efa856caf2a_story.html; (4) Stuart Holman, Mack's bass-player in the early '70s, said that Mack "had no tolerance for the internal politics of the music business." Hear, Holman interview on the broadcast entitled "Lonnie Mack Special", July 16, 2011 at http://wvxu.org/post/lonnie-mack-special#stream/0 (5)See account of Mack's growing impatience and revulsion with the music business under the headings "1968-1971: Elektra years" and "1970s: Withdrawal to the country" herein.
- Lyrics to song "Country" (1976): I don't care what you think of me, I'm a-gonna live my life bein' country. Had a fancy job out in Hollywood, everybody said I was doin' good. Had lots of money and opportunities, but I'm a-gonna live my life bein' country.
- In 1983, he moved to Texas to begin a collaboration with Stevie Ray Vaughan
- See, section herein entitled "1971-1984: Withdrawal to the country" and references therein. Exiting the center stage of commercial rock at age 29 may have engendered Mack's public image as a reclusive "cult-figure" (Grimes, "Lonnie Mack, singer and guitarist who pioneered blues-rock, dies at 74", April 22, 2016, NY Times online @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/23/arts/music/lonnie-mack-singer-and-guitarist-who-pioneered-blues-rockdies-at-74.html?_r=0) but, over time, it also left him "largely unknown to mainstream [rock] audiences". (Kreps, Lonnie Mack, blues-rock guitar great, dead at 74", Rolling Stone online, April 23, 2016, at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/lonnie-mack-blues-rock-guitar-great-dead-at-74-20160423).
- The album was recorded in December, 1989, but released in 1990.
- See specific reference to each of these artists in footnotes following their names in text of article
- Just weeks before Carlson died , in March, 1986, Mack said: "He's like a second daddy to me. I named one of my kids after him. Evans, "The Cincinnati Sound", Cincinnati Magazine, June 1986, p. 75, as reproduced at https://books.google.com/books?id=bx8DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75&dq=lonnie+mack+soul+scream&source=bl&ots=3zCjtvoxeM&sig=VaB5IwxDVQcW44yXbnuVs3RRA6s&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7ZJQU9asDMOpyASzp4GoBQ#v=onepage&q=lonnie%20mack%20soul%20scream&f=false
- There is an old McIntosh Family Cemetery there. See: topo map at http://www.mytopo.com/locations/index.cfm?fid=513868
- See, Mack obituary in NY Times @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/23/arts/music/lonnie-mack-singer-and-guitarist-who-pioneered-blues-rockdies-at-74.html. There was a massive out-migration of refugees from the coal mine closures in Southern Appalachia before World War II. See, Wikipedia article entitled "Hillbilly Highway" and references therein. Most sought jobs in industrialized cities. It appears that the McIntosh family represented the exception to the rule.
- "LONNIE MACK, JULY 18, 1941 – APRIL 21, 2016". alligator.com.; see also, funeral announcement for Lonnie "Lonnie Mack" McIntosh at http://wrbiradio.com/lonnie-lonnie-mack-mcintosh/
- July 24, 2005 Mack interview.
- Sandmel, "Lonnie Mack is Back of the Track", Guitar World, May 1984, pp. 55–56
-  Archived May 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Dan Forte, "Lonnie Mack: That Memphis Man is Back", 1978, p. 20; Murrells, The Book of Golden Discs, Barrie & Jenkins, 1978, p.163; See video of this vintage child's guitar model at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvfcKJzlQzQ
- Grimes, William (April 22, 2016). "Lonnie Mack, Singer and Guitarist Who Pioneered Blues-Rock, Dies at 74". The New York Times.
- See, section on "Travis-picking" in Wikipedia article entitled "Fingerstyle guitar"
- Matre, Van (May 2, 1985). "Lonnie Mack Back In The Swing Of Things". Chicago Tribune, Lifestyle Section. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Bill Millar, liner notes to album, "Memphis Wham!" Trotto has been recognized as an influential performer in Southern Indiana. See, record of Trotto's 2001 induction into Southeastern Indiana Musicians Hall of Fame, at:https://www.facebook.com/Southeastern-Indiana-Musicians-Association-INC-1687218718169385/timeline/
- One of Trotto's few recordings was a cover of Martha Carson's "Satisfied". Mack's own version is found on his first album, recorded in 1963. Compare Mack's black gospel-influenced version, found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP8BOYwtshI, with Trotto's white "country" gospel version, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoLMvkhCDks
- (1) Peter Guralnick, Pickers, "Lonnie Mack: Fiery Rock Picker Goes Country", 1977, p. 16
; (2) Dan Forte, "Lonnie Mack: That Memphis Man is Back", 1978, p. 20; (3) Murrells, The Book of Golden Discs, Barrie &Jenkins, 1978, p. 163.
- Bill Millar, liner notes to "Memphis Wham!"
- Dahl, Bill. "Lonnie Mack profile at". allmusic.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- "Unsung Guitar Hero: Lonnie Mack". .gibson.com. July 14, 1985. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- McNutt, Guitar Towns, University of Indiana Press, 2002, p. 175
- Russ House, Triad Publishing. "Lonnie Mack bio at". Lonniemack.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- Lonnie Mack bio; McNutt, Guitar Towns, University of Indiana Press, 2002, p. 175
- Murrells, The Book of Golden Discs, Barrie & Jenkins, 1978, p.163.
- Recollection of early fan, found in "Comments" section under video entitled "Lonnie Mack: A Simple Tribute"@ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXEi1_xYI9U
- See, reference to the 1958 release of "Pistol-Packin' Mama" under the Twilighters' name @ http://wdd.mbnet.fi/lonniemack.htm
- The band was named after a Hamilton, Ohio nightclub where they had a steady engagement.
- Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio
-  Archived May 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Reportedly, "Pistol Packin' Mama" was released on a small regional label, "Esta" or "Dobbs", strictly for local juke-box play. See, Bill Millar, liner notes, album "Memphis Wham!"; Mack discography at http://wdd.mbnet.fi/lonniemack.htm
- Gabbard died in 2003. Holt continued on into his 80s as a well-known bluegrass performer, often appearing with his son, Tony. See, e.g., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq1vJVQe3g4
- Gordon, Terry. "Harley Gabbard discography". Rockin' Country Style. Retrieved November 15, 2007.[dead link]
- Album, "That'll Flat Git It", V. 27, track 17, ISBN 978-3-89916-577-7. It is now available in the U.S."That'll Flat Git It! Vol. 27: Rockabilly & Rock 'N' Roll From The Vault Of Sage & Sand Records: Various Artists". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011..
- It can be heard on Youtube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9_WrQ3psWM
- (1) See, album entitled From Nashville to Memphis, Ace, 2001, and liner notes thereto. (2) Mack recalled that when he auditioned for Harry Carlson, owner of Fraternity, he played several bars of the as-yet unrecorded "Memphis". See, Mack interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6bJ3ehHpo0
- See, albums entitled From Nashville to Memphis (Ace, 2001) and Gigi and the Charmaines (Ace, 2006) and liner notes thereto
- Several of these recordings are found on compilation CDs entitled Lonnie Mack: From Nashville to Memphis (Ace, 2004) and Gigi and the Charmaines (Ace, 2006).
- 1963 Stewart Colman, liner notes to album "From Nashville to Memphis", March 2001
- Bill Millar, liner notes to album "Memphis Wham!"; Forte, "Mack's Gear", Guitar Player Magazine, March 1978, as excerpted at http://www.guitarplayer.com/artists/1013/we-lost-another-guitar-hero-on-april-21-lonnie-mack-passes-at-74/57726
- Richard T. Pinnell, Ph. D., "Lonnie Mack's Version of Chuck Berry's 'Memphis' — An Analysis of an Historic Rock Guitar Instrumental", Guitar Player Magazine, May 1979, p. 41
- Interview of recording engineer Chuck Seitz, "Lonnie Mack Special", http://wvxu.org/post/lonnie-mack-special#stream/0
- March 1977 Capitol publicity release entitled "Lonnie Mack"
- It was the fourth rock guitar instrumental to penetrate Billboard's "Top 5", preceded only by considerably less technically challenging "Twang" and "Surf" classics, i.e., (1) The Virtues' "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" (1959), (2) The Ventures' "Walk, Don't Run" (1960) and (3) Duane Eddy's "Because They're Young" (1960). In 1964, Johnny Rivers released his own version of "Memphis", recombining Berry's vocal treatment with signature elements of Mack's instrumental. Rivers' version scored No. 2 on the U.S. Hit Parade.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 163. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- (1) Smith, "Lonnie Mack: The Guitar Player's Guitar Player", June 2010, @ http://www.swampland.com/articles/view/title:lonnie_mack (2) "....tours in England": See, "Remembering Lonnie Mack", Pike County Courier online, 4/26/2016 as updated 4/27/2016, @ http://www.pikecountycourier.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20160426/OPINION03/160429963/Remembering-Lonnie-Mack-and-his-visits-to-Pike
- Pinnell, Richard T. (May 1979). "Lonnie Mack's 'Memphis': An Analysis of an Historic Rock Guitar Instrumental". Guitar Player. p. 40.
- Russ Miller, liner notes to album For Collectors Only, Elektra EKS-74077, 1970 and "From Nashville to Memphis" Ace CDCHD807
- "Mack Discography". Koti.mbnet.fi. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- "Talkin' Blues: Lonnie Mack and the Birth of Blues-Rock". Guitar World. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- Bill Millar, liner notes to album Memphis Wham, Ace, 1999
- "...Lonnie Mack virtually invented blues-rock...", Guitar Player, "101 Forgotten Greats and Unsung Heroes", 2/1/2007, @ http://www.guitarplayer.com/artists/1013/101-forgotten-greats-&-unsung-heroes/16853; see also, Stevie Ray Vaughan quote: "Lonnie invented a lot of this stuff." Newton, "My First Interview With Stevie Ray Vaughn", at https://earofnewt.com/2015/08/26/my-first-interview-with-stevie-ray-vaughan-when-he-sang-me-three-lines-of-an-earl-king-song/
- Forte, "Mack's Gear", Guitar Player Magazine, March 1978, as excerpted at http://www.guitarplayer.com/artists/1013/we-lost-another-guitar-hero-on-april-21-lonnie-mack-passes-at-74/57726
- Fewer than 100 were produced in 1958
- "Lonnie Mack bio data". MusicianGuide.com. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
- Meiners, Larry (2001) [2001-03-01]. Flying V: The Illustrated History of this Modernistic Guitar. Flying Vintage Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 0-9708273-3-4.
- "THE UNIQUE GUITAR BLOG: Lonnie Mack's Flying V". Uniqueguitar.blogspot.com. December 23, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- Mack was sentimental concerning his Native American ancestry. See: Vinson, "Don't Procrastinate: Be Rock Solid", Murfreesboro Post online, June, 2010, at http://www.murfreesboropost.com/mike-vinson-don-t-procrastinate-be-rock-solid-cms-23401
- see, images at http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/Unsung-Guitar-Hero-Lonnie-Mack.aspx
- Hunter & Gibbons, "Star Guitars", Voyageur Press, 2010
- "The Guitar Collection" (PDF). Musicroom.com. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- Rolling Stone, "20 Iconic Guitars", http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/20-iconic-guitars-20120523
- These styles are normally performed with the fingers, not a pick. The few available videos of Mack, all later in his career, usually show him using a pick between his thumb and forefinger, or at least a thumb-pick, when playing "No. 7". This may be due to the fact, as stated elsewhere in this article, that he always used the heaviest available strings on it.
- Alec Dubro, Review of "The Wham of that Memphis Man!", Rolling Stone, November 23, 1968.
- Among other things, traditional blues guitarists "typically stick to variations on the seventh chord." Stephens, supra, "Lonnie Mack", 2016, @ http://www.toppermost.co.uk/lonnie-mack/; See also, "Lonnie Mack Back In The Swing Of Things", Chicago Tribune, Lifestyle Section, May 2, 1985: "An uncle showed me how to take a Merle Travis sound on guitar and it was very similar to what a lot of the Black guys were doing; they just made it a little funkier. It was pretty easy to come over to that once I figured it out."
- Vitale, "RIP Lonnie Mack", 4/22/2016, at http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2016/04/22/rip-lonnie-mack
- Sandmel, Guitar World, May 1984, pp. 55–56
- Brown & Newquist, Legends of Rock Guitar, Hal Leonard Pub. Co., 1997, p. 87
- See, Grimes, "Lonnie Mack, Singer and Guitarist Who Pioneered Blues-Rock, Dies at 74", http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/23/arts/music/lonnie-mack-singer-and-guitarist-who-pioneered-blues-rockdies-at-74.html?_r=0. See also, (1) Gene Santoro, "Double Whammy", Guitar World, January 1986, p. 34; (2) Stevie Ray Vaughan: "Nobody can play with a whammy-bar like Lonnie. He holds it while he plays and the sound sends chills up your spine."Nixon, "It's Star Time!", Guitar World, November 1985, p. 82. (3) Mack can be seen "tugging" on the whammy bar "while continuing to pick" at counter 2:09 and using the "shuddering" technique at counter 2:13 of the video of a 1985 Carnegie Hall concert, playing "Satisfy Suzie" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhX1lfWZaNw&ebc=ANyPxKpQ8Db4nyyibTLxE14xV4-KfgochEdNE8Cmg4OvLKjsjm7_E3llRU18Wnl25OTs5oXmtK30Md9-ROCrO0KfSUBVNRFHFw
- Delehant, "Lonnie Mack Four Years After Memphis", Hit Parade, 1967; Bill Millar, liner notes to "Memphis Wham!"
- Alec Dubrow, Rolling Stone, November 23, 1968: The guitar, always high and uptight, is backed by and pitted against either the chorus, the saxes, or both. But it is truly the voice of Lonnie Mack that sets him apart. He is primarily a gospel singer, and in a way not too different from, say, Elvis, whose gospel works are both great and largely unnoticed. But where Elvis' singing has always had an impersonal quality, Lonnie's songs have a sincerity and intensity that's hard to find anywhere.
- Millar, Bill (1983). "Blue-eyed Soul: Colour Me Soul". The History of Rock. Archived from the original on November 22, 2007. Retrieved November 14, 2007.
- Sandmel (May 1984). "Lonnie Mack is Back on the Track". Guitar World. p. 59.
- Sandmel (May 1984), Lonnie Mack is Back on the Track, Guitar World, p. 59
- The term "deep soul ballad" was coined by Dave Godin, to mean a blues style that projects deep and profound emotions. See, http://www.sirshambling.com/articles/sir_shambling/whatispage.php
- "Why?" did appear on Mack's 1964 album, "The Wham of that Memphis Man"
- Curtis. Lost Rock & Roll Masterpieces Fortune, April 30, 2001 Quote: "Why?", Mack wails, transforming it into a word of three syllables. "Why-y-y?" It's sweaty slow-dance stuff, with an organ intro, a stinging guitar solo, and, after the last emotional chorus, four simple notes on the guitar as a coda. There's no sadder, dustier, beerier song in all of Rock".
- Marcus, 2009, lecture entitled, "Songs Left Out of the Ballad of Sexual Dependency", delivered at the 2009 Pop Conference at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.
- A popular local Minneapolis group, The Accents, had local hits with "Wherever There's A Will" (Garrett 4008) and "Why" (Garrett 4014). Both singles got substantial airplay locally and sold well throughout the state.
- Compare the vocals on 1963's "The Wham of that Memphis Man!" to those in "Home at Last" and "Lonnie Mack With Pismo", both recorded in the mid-1970s
- Watrous, "Lonnie Mack in a Melange of Guitar Styles", New York Times, September 18, 1988
- Francis Davis, History of the Blues, Da Capo, 1995, p. 246
- "Stormy Monday" is track 12 of the first CD in the set entitled "Live at Coco's". On the same album, hear "Why" and "The Things That I Used To Do"
- Stop" appears as track 3 of "Strike Like Lightning". A live version of the same tune appears on 1989's "Attack of the Killer V" (rel. 1990), as does the referenced live version of "I Found a Love".
- Hear interview of recording engineer Chuck Seitz, "Lonnie Mack Special", July 16, 2011, at http://wvxu.org/post/lonnie-mack-special#stream/0
- Russ Miller, liner notes to album "For Collectors Only", Elektra EKS-74077; Stuart Colman, 2001 liner notes to "From Nashville to Memphis", with accompanying Fraternity discography.
- See, Track Listing in Wikipedia Article entitled "The Wham Of That Memphis Man".
- Russ Miller, liner notes to album "For Collectors Only", Elektra EKS-74077. See also, Stephens, "Lonnie Mack", May, 2016 at http://www.toppermost.co.uk/lonnie-mack/: "Lonnie's guitar style was highly distinctive, dare I say, unique; in the early rock era only Link Wray and Duane Eddy could match him for instant recognition. On those early records his sound largely came from the emulation of the style and guitar/amp set up of a semi-obscure soul blues singer/guitarist called Robert Ward. For those who’ve never heard Robert, take a listen to the Falcons (featuring a young Wilson Pickett). That's Robert's vibrato guitar behind Wilson. Lonnie took that sound – a combination of guitar and amp with magic settings! – and utilised an extremely fast version of country music chicken picking, totally unlike more typical blues guitarists who stuck to variations on the seventh chord. What came out the other end was a very fluid, almost liquid, sound which the world heard first on Memphis."
- Guterman, The 100 Best Rock 'n' Roll Records of All Time, Citadel, 1992, p. 34
- "Memphis"and "Wham!" were on the album, but had been recorded and released as singles earlier in 1963.
- "Lonnie Mack Special", Chuck Hay, Interviews of Stuart Holman and recording engineer Chuck Seitz at http://wvxu.org/post/lonnie-mack-special#stream/0
- John Morthland, "Lonnie Mack", Output, March 1984
- "WangDangDula.com". Koti.mbnet.fi. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- 1987 reissue, without label reference: Himes, "Lonnie Mack" (column), The Washington Post, February 20, 1987
- The Wham of that Memphis Man!, Ace (UK), 2006
- "Alligator reissue". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- "Unsung Guitar Hero: Lonnie Mack". Gibson.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- 2008 release on Collectables label, For Collectors Only, a copy of the 1970 Elektra reissue.
- In his review of a 1987 reissue, Gregory Himes of The Washington Post wrote: "With so many roots-rock guitarists trying to imitate this same style, this album sounds surprisingly modern. Not many have done it this well, though." Himes, Gregory (February 20, 1987). "Lonnie Mack". The Washington Post.
With so many roots-rock guitarists trying to imitate this same style, this album sounds surprisingly modern. Not many have done it this well, though.
- Comprehensive Mack Fraternity Discography reproduced in tabular form by Ace Records, current owner of Fraternity, in the liner notes to CD "Lonnie Mack: From Nashville to Memphis"
- See: Ace CDs entitled "Memphis Wham!", "Lonnie Still On The Move" and "Lonnie Mack: From Nashville to Memphis", and comprehensive liner notes to each, as well as Flying V's 2-CD set entitled "Direct Hits and Close Calls" and comments re same on Mack's website
- While there were many iconic pre-Mack rock guitar solos from The Ventures, Dick Dale, Duane Eddy, The Virtues and Link Wray, few were as challenging or complex as many of the numerous saxophone and piano solos from the same era. By and large, the sax and piano players of that era were far more proficient than their counterparts on guitar. (1) For saxophone solos in early rock, see, e.g., http://howtoplaysaxophone.org/saxophone-songs-1950s-rock-and-roll. (2) For piano solos in early rock, see, e.g., references to Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Little Richard and Ray Charles at http://www.thetoptens.com/best-rock-n-roll-pianists/. (3) For an excellent review of the history of instrumental solos in early rock, through the Mack era, see: Parker and Davis, "Instrumentals: when no words were necessary, Pt. 1", Goldmine online, 12/16/2010, at http://www.goldminemag.com/features/instrumentals-when-no-words-were-necessary-pt-1. Mack's first album contains several tunes in which he traded solos with the sax. A tune recorded close-in-time to those that appeared in his first album, but not released until the 1990s, was entitled Tension. He recorded one version with a sax solo and an otherwise identical version with his own guitar solo. See: Album entitled "Memphis Wham!", Ace, 1999, containing both versions. One might infer that Mack specifically intended his guitar to supplant the well-established role of other instruments. If so, however, he apparently never said as much to any of his many interviewers. Still, whether by design or happy accident, it seems reasonably clear that his 1963 solos played a key, early role in a movement that soon dismantled, and then rebuilt the foundation of rock with virtuosic lead guitar as its cornerstone.
- see, e.g., (1) Kot, "He Wrote The Book", Chicago Tribune online, 12/3/1989 ("With the wiggle of a whammy bar and a blinding run of notes up and down the neck of his classic Gibson Flying V, Lonnie Mack launched the modern guitar era 26 years ago."); (2) Vinson, "Don't Procrastinate - Be Rock Solid", Murfreesboro Post online, 2/6/2010 (referring to Mack as "The Father of Modern Guitar")
- "A true trailblazing pioneer of the electric guitar, his playing was faster, louder, more aggressive than anything else people were used to hearing during his time....[M]uch of rock music might not have been the same – without his innovative way of treating the electric guitar as a lead soloing instrument in rock – edgy, aggressive, loud and fast." Reiser, "Keeping the Blues Alive", April 9, 2016, at https://keepingthebluesalive.org/lonnie-mack-remembering-his-trailblazing-blues-rock-guitar-virtuosity/.
- "Landmark Recordings", Guitar World, July 1980 and July 1990, p. 97
- emphasis added
- emphasis in original
- Bosso, Joe. "Ted Nugent picks the 11 greatest guitarists of all time". MusicRadar.
- Gettleman, Orlando Sentinel, "Guitar Hero Lonnie Mack", as reprinted in Salt Lake Tribune, August 3–4, 1993, p. 3
- Parker & Davis, Goldmine Magazine, "Instrumentals: When no words were necessary", December 18, 2010, as preserved at http://www.goldminemag.com/features/instrumentals-when-no-words-were-necessary-pt-1
- Poe, "Skydog: The Duane Allman Story", Backbeat, 2006, p. 10
- Guterman, The 100 Best Rock 'n' Roll Record of All Time, Citadel, 1992, p. 34. Mack said that while he had "never made it real big" in record sales, he was proud to know that he had the respect of "other entertainers". See, Mack interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6bJ3ehHpo0
- "The Lost Stevie Ray Vaughan Interview". YouTube. January 13, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- Hear, Vaughan interview, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GImi3eGVbSI, at counter 17:36.
- DVD, SRV Live at the Mocambo, track 13, Sony, 1991
- Patoski (1993), "SRV: Caught in the Crossfire", Backbeat: 15–16
- Newton, "My First Interview With Stevie Ray Vaughn", at https://earofnewt.com/2015/08/26/my-first-interview-with-stevie-ray-vaughan-when-he-sang-me-three-lines-of-an-earl-king-song/
- Menn, Secrets From The Masters, Miller-Freeman, Inc, 1992, p. 278, ISBN 0-87930-260-7
- "Stevie Ray Vaughan – Interview 07/22/87". YouTube. March 29, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- "Skydog: The Duane Allman Story". Backbeat. 2006. pp. 10–11.; Souther Rock lead guitarist Dan Toler of The Greg Allman Band and Dickey Betts & Great Southern was similarly influenced by Mack's "Memphis". See: Toler website at http://frayerproductions.com/dantoler/story.html and Toler interview at http://www.rockeyez.com/live_reviews/Southern_Rock/liverev-southernrock-08-11-07.html
- "The Allman Brothers : Live at Clifton Garage 1970" (PDF). Spectratechild.com. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- Betts interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij-LTAFB9o8
- Quote appearing on Warren Haynes' website at http://www.warrenhaynes.net/news/detail/warren_haynes_reflects_on_lonnie_mack
- "Jeff Beck profile at". Reference.findtarget.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.; see also, "Happy Birthday Jeff Beck", June 24, 2012 @ http://wncx.cbslocal.com/2012/06/24/happy-birthday-june-24th-jeff-beck/
- Drozdowski, "Lonnie Mack 1941–2016", Premier Guitar, http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/24115-lonnie-mack--
- See, "The Jeff Beck Bulletin, #20, Jan. 2015 – October 2015", at http://www.jeffbeck.ch/jb20.html; see and hear Beck playing it live in 2015 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxudfj1TQ8w
- Benson interview, VHS/DVD entitled "Further On Down The Road", Flying V, 1985
- Interview with Bootsy Collins, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US1658nBJow
- Nugent interview at http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/ted-nugent-picks-the-11-greatest-guitarists-of-all-time-533304
- God's Jukebox website, "Wham by Lonnie Mack" at http://www.godsjukebox.com/Bomberboy/lonnie-mack-wham/
- see: http://www.yngwiemalmsteen.com/yngwie/guitar-gods-festival/
- see Tyler Morris video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy-Yr9PrJ08.---- The prominent gutiarists listed in the body of this section have stated, in their own words, the extent to which Mack's playing impacted them. With less direct and concrete evidentiary support, it has been asserted by knowledgable third parties that Mack's influence was even broader, deeper and more consequential, reaching virtually every great rock guitarist who emerged within a few years after his appearance upon the scene. Thus, according to Guitar World magazine, his innovative guitar style stamped its imprint on all emerging rock-guitar soloists from the 1960s through the 1980s, "from Eric Clapton to Duane Allman to Stevie Ray Vaughan," (Santoro, "Double-Whammy", Guitar World, January 1986, p. 34) and "from Ted Nugent to Mike Bloomfield." ("Landmark Recordings", Guitar World, July 1980, as republished in Guitar World, July 1990, p. 97). Shortly after Mack's death, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and many other publications wrote of Mack's seminal influence on virtually all such prominent guitarists. From one: "Without Lonnie Mack's self-created blend of rock-and-roll, blues, and R&B, all milkshaked-up together and cherry-topped with a unique trebly-vibrato attack with its roots in bluegrass "chicken-pickin’", we would have no Duane Allman, no Jeff Beck, no Stevie Ray Vaughn or Jimmy Page, as each of them would be eager to tell you." Eskow, "The Death of Prince and the Death of Lonnie Mack", Counterpunch, May 3, 2016, at http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/03/the-death-of-prince-and-the-death-of-lonnie-mack/.
- Alec Dubrow, Review of "The Wham of that Memphis Man!, Rolling Stone, November 23, 1968;
- Bill Millar, liner notes to album Memphis Wham!
- See: "The Fraternity of Wham", August 24, 2013, at http://rubbercityreview.com/2013/08/the-fraternity-of-wham/
- "Stone Fox, an anomaly". mog.com/Spike/blog_post. April 20, 2007. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
- "Fab Flipside #7-"Stone Fox" James Brown | The Music Click". Dawn.proboards.com. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- "WangDangDula.com". Koti.mbnet.fi. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- "Swampland.com". Swampland. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- album "Albert Washington, Blues and Soul Man" (Ace, 1999) and liner notes thereto by Steven C. Tracy, Ph. D
- Steven C. Tracy, Ph.D.: (1) Liner notes to Ace CD "Albert Washington: Blues and Soul Man, with Lonnie Mack" and (2) Going to Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City, Univ. Of Illinois Press, 1988, p. 165 et. seq
- CD entitled "Albert Washington, Blues and Soul Man, with Lonnie Mack", Ace CDCHD 727. (1999)
- See, posting of Mike Pumphrey near the bottom of comments at http://www.tributes.com/obituary/print_selections/103505970?type=6
- (1) Mervis, "RIP Blues Guitar Great Lonnie Mack, 4/21/2016, Post-Gazette.com, at http://blogs.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment/pop-noise/46490-rip-blues-guitar-great-lonnie-mack; (2) See, poster advertising Mack's 6-day run with Johnny Winter at the Fillmore West in July, 1969 at http://www.classicposters.com/Johnny_Winter/poster/Bill_Graham/180
- "Cryptical Developments: The Doors, Lonnie Mack, Elvin Bishop. Cow Palace, 7/25/69". Cryptdev.blogspot.com. November 7, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- Many have noted a long-standing controversy as to whether Mack ("the guitar player we had asked to sit in with us" - The Doors' drummer John Densmore) had played lead guitar on the album's monster hit single ("Roadhouse Blues"), or just bass guitar on that, and one other tune, as credited on the album's liner notes. Much of the controversy revolves around Jim Morrison's call-out to Mack--"Do it, Lonnie, Do it!"--near the outset of a guitar solo. Complicating the issue, some claim to hear it as "Do it Ronnie, Do it", "Ronnie" being the first name of The Doors' own guitarist, Ronnie Krieger. Mack himself said that he had "played bass". See, Mack interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6bJ3ehHpo0. His family-authorized obituary likewise stated that he had played bass on the album. See, Mack obit, at http://wrbiradio.com/lonnie-lonnie-mack-mcintosh/. Neither Mack nor his family claimed that he had also played lead guitar. The Wikipedia article entitled "Roadhouse Blues" rejects the assertion that Mack played lead guitar on the tune.
- See, original liner notes to the album and Wikipedia article entitled "Morrison Hotel".
- John Densmore, Riders On The Storm, Dell, 1990, p. 235
- Hear, "The Doors Blues For Lonnie (Instrumental) 1969" on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Lfefifp0GU Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- Rolling Stone, "Random Notes", February 7, 1970, p. 4
- Holzman, Follow The Music, First Media, 1998, pp. 366–67
- Houghton, Becoming Elektra, 1st Ed., 2010, Jawbone Press, pp.244-246.
- Kot, Greg (December 13, 1989). "He Wrote The Book – tribunedigital-chicagotribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- Hear, interview of Stuart Holman (Mack's bass-player in the early '70s), "Lonnie Mack Special", July 16, 2011 at http://wvxu.org/post/lonnie-mack-special#stream/0
- Holzman, Follow The Music, First Media, 2000, p. 367; see also, "The Alabama State Troupers" at http://badcatrecords.com/BadCat/ALABAMAstate.htm
- Houghton, Becoming Elektra, 1st Ed., 2010, Jawbone Press, pp.244-246
- Holzman, Follow the Music, First Media. 1998, p. 367; Mack was replaced by veteran bluesman Furry Lewis. See, account in "The Alabama State Troupers" at http://badcatrecords.com/BadCat/ALABAMAstate.htm
- See, Unterberger, Review of "The Hills of Indiana", at http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-hills-of-indiana-mw0000035146
- "Shoals musicians recall Lonnie Mack as great guitarist, singer", http://www.timesdaily.com/news/shoals-musicians-recall-lonnie-mack-as-great-guitarist-singer/article_48a46f3e-8dae-5334-a3c7-1a6ec1260060.html
- However, according to Mack's bass-player in the mid-1970s, his roadhouse performances during that era still included dramatic displays of guitar prowess. Hear, interview of Stuart Holman, "Lonnie Mack Special", July 16, 2011 at http://wvxu.org/post/lonnie-mack-special#stream/0
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. October 28, 2009. Archived from the original on October 28, 2009. Retrieved July 27, 2011.. Already viewed as a "living legend" of rock guitar by his contemporaries (John Densmore, Riders On The Storm, Dell, 1990, p. 235), his unexplained change of genres, and near-withdrawal from the rock spotlight at the age of twenty-nine, engendered the image of a mysteriously-disappeared "cult figure". See, "Lonnie Mack, singer and guitarist who pioneered blues rock, dies", April 24, 2016 at http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Lonnie-Mack-singer-and-guitarist-who-pioneered-7306010.php
- Peter Guralnick, Pickers, "Lonnie Mack: Fiery Picker Goes Country", 1977, pp. 16–18
- Song: "A Song I Haven't Sung", track 10 on album "Second Sight", Alligator, 1986
- Hear, (1) "Country" (1976): I don't care what you think of me, I'm a-gonna live my life bein' country. Had a fancy job out in Hollywood, everybody said I was doin' good. Had lots of money and opportunities, but I'm a-gonna live my life bein' country.; (2) "Hills of Indiana" (1971), from album of the same name; (3) "Funky Country Living" (1983) from "Live at Coco's"; and (4) "A Long Way From Memphis" (1985) from "Strike Like Lightning" ("L.A. made me sick").
- Vinson, Mike. "VINSON: 'The Possum' has gone to heaven". The Murfreesboro Post. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- In 1973, Mack teamed up with Rusty York on an all-acoustic bluegrass LP, Dueling Banjos. It contains sixteen bluegrass standards in a dueling-banjos format, with guitar and fiddle. Mack played guitar on all sixteen cuts and provided the sole vocal track (the gospel tune "I'll Fly Away") on this otherwise instrumental album. In 1974, Mack played lead guitar in Dobie Gray's band. Gray is best known for his hit tunes "The 'In' Crowd" (later covered by The Ramsey Lewis Trio and others), "Drift Away" and "Loving Arms". Mack's guitar work from this period can be found on Gray's 1974 country-pop album Hey, Dixie. Mack wrote or co-wrote four tunes on the album, including the title track. In March 1974, he performed as Gray's lead guitarist at the last broadcast of The Grand Ole Opry from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. In 1977, Mack recorded Home at Last, an album of country ballads and bluegrass tunes. In 1978, he recorded Lonnie Mack with Pismo. A somewhat faster-paced album, Pismo featured country, southern rock and rockabilly tunes.
- A review of the annals of Rolling Stone Magazine reflects only perfunctory notices of Mack's releases during this time-frame
- See, e.g., references to "Dueling Banjos" and "Home at Last" at http://stuckinthepast08.blogspot.com/2014/01/lonnie-mack-home-at-last-1977.html
- A studio version of the tune appears as track 5 of the album Second Sight. A live version appears as track 8 of the album Attack of the Killer V.
- "Rolling Coconut Review Japan Concert April 10 1977 | mockford". Mockford.wordpress.com. October 20, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- [dead link]
- Cincinnati Magazine – Jun 1986 – Page 73 " ... neither of which received much attention, Mack teamed up with an old friend named Ed Labunski to form a group called South "
- Mack released demos from the South project on his own label, Flying V Records, twenty years later.
- Shortly after Labunski's death, Mack traveled to Canada for a six-month collaboration with American expatriate rockabilly artist Ronnie Hawkins. Hawkins is best known for having founded The Hawks, a popular Canadian roots-rock group that, after the departure of Hawkins, became Bob Dylan's backup band and, later still, independently famous as The Band. Mack's guitar work from this period can be heard on Hawkins's 1981 solo album, Legend In His Spare Time.
- See summary of that edition at http://www.musicmansteve.com/Maghome/GuitarWorld.htm
- Guitar World, "Pioneering Guitarist Lonnie Mack Dead at 74", 4/22/2016, http://www.guitarworld.com/artist-news/pioneering-guitarist-lonnie-mack-dead-74/29020
- Sandmel, "Rock Pioneer Lonnie Mack In Session With Stevie Ray Vaughan",Guitar Player, April 1985, p. 33
- 1990 Lonnie Mack interview by Rikki Dee Hall.
- "Michael Smith, "Gritz Speaks With Guitar Hero Lonnie Mack", June 2000". Swampland.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- SRV interview, Guitar World, November 1985, p. 30
- As heard on bootleg DVD entitled "American Caravan: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble", recorded in 1986 at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis
- Davis, Francis (September 2, 2003). History of the Blues. Da Capo Press. p. 246. ISBN 0-306-81296-7.
- Video: (1) DVD: "Live at the Mocambo"; (2) Album: "The Sky is Crying"
- (1) Studio album, "Strike Like Lightning" (1985) and (2) a 1986 live version @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkBqTWBIkKw
- Album: SRV and Double Trouble: Box Set, Disc 2
- "...the Lonnie Mack-inspired instrumental". Blues.about.com. August 17, 1984. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- Albums: SRV and Double Trouble: Box Set, Disc 2 and Live at Carnegie Hall; Vaughan said he "dedicated" the tune to Mack. Menn, Secrets From The Masters, Miller-Freeman, Inc, 1992, p. 278, ISBN 0-87930-260-7; Elsewhere, SRV was quoted as saying that "Scuttle-Buttin was just another way of playing Lonnie Mack's 'Chicken Pickin'". See, album review at http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/stevie-ray-vaughan-couldnt-stand-the-weather-legacy-edition-album-review-265255
- "Lonnie Mack Blues HDtrack downloads". HDtracks.com. December 4, 1999. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- CD, SRV: Solos, Sessions and Encores, track 7, Epic/Legacy, 2007
- "Further On Down The Road: Albert Collins, Lonnie Mack, Roy Buchanan Live at Carnegie Hall: Roy Buchanan musician, Lonnie Mack musician, Albert Collins musician: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Guterman, Rolling Stone, December 1, 1988
- "G.E. Smith – Rock 'N' Roll Bash Artist Profile – Event: 2/22/14 « « Rock and Roll for Children Foundation Rock and Roll for Children Foundation". Rockandrollforchildren.org. February 22, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- ""Live! – Attack of the Killer V" Review". Members.tripod.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- See, (1) McDevitt, "Unsung Guitar Hero - Lonnie Mack", 9/05/2007 @ http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/Unsung-Guitar-Hero-Lonnie-Mack.aspx and (2) Michael Buffalo Smith, "Lonnie Mack - The Guitar Player's Guitar Player", June, 2000 @ http://www.swampland.com/articles/view/title:lonnie_mack
- A typical Mack blues-club performance from this era can be seen, replete with fist-fight within feet of Mack and his band, during which they simply continued to play, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP-GMyKWPJY
- Baber, Bo (May 31, 2000). "Review of Franktown Blues". Warehousecreek.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- J. Poet, "Lonnie Mack - Biography", undated, @ http://www.amoeba.com/lonnie-mack/artist/161293/bio
- "Poconut.com". Poconut.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- In 2006, Mack played at an liver-transplant benefit concert for Pure Prairie League singer-bassit Michael Reilly."Photo of Mack playing at concert". Pureprairieleague.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- http://www.pureprairieleague.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=830&sid=c35c58dc4fdc2965e52914f77c4ea2a5. Retrieved July 4, 2009. Missing or empty
- McDevitt, "Unsung Guitar Hero: Lonnie Mack", 9/5/2007 @ http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/Unsung-Guitar-Hero-Lonnie-Mack.aspx
- John Soeder, The Plain Dealer. "Guitar stars pay tribute to Les Paul in Cleveland concert". cleveland.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- "Lonnie Mack sat in with my band Sat night...". The Gear Page. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Dates and setlists for 2010 festival at http://www.setlist.fm/festival/2010/clearwater-sea-blues-festival-2010-1bd6cdfc.html
- "Lonnie Mack profile at". Facebook. Retrieved November 10, 2012.; see video of performance at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utqP7q244mY
- "Lonnie Mack Comes Back To Life". Rockabillyhall.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- "Bobby Boyd profile at". Bobbyboydband.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- "Shoals musicians recall Lonnie Mack as great guitarist, singer", http://www.timesdaily.com/news/shoals-musicians-recall-lonnie-mack-as-great-guitarist-singer/article_48a46f3e-8dae-5334-a3c7-1a6ec1260060.html; see also, (1) account of Bruce Iglauer, founder of Alligator Records, "RIP Lonnie Mack", http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2016/04/22/rip-lonnie-mack and (2) account of Joe Awad, under title "Mack Attack is Legendary Stuff" at http://www.theohiocountynews.com/opinion-columns/mack-attack-legendary-stuff.
- Vinson, "The Passing of Lonnie Mack", The Cannon Courier, May 10, 2016, @ http://cannoncourier.com/the-passing-of-lonnie-mack-cms-15119
- "Lonnie mack Services, Burial, in Hometown This Week", http://eaglecountryonline.com/local-article/lonnie-mack-services-burial-in-hometown-this-week/
- Meiners, Larry [2001-03-01], Flying V: The Illustrated History of the Modernistic Guitar, Flying Vintage Publishing, p. 13.
- Larry Nager, Cincinnati Enquirer, "Lonnie Mack Wins Lifetime Achievement Cammy", March 15, 1998
- "Security Check Required".
- "Guitar Hall of Fame".
- Russ House, "Lonnie Mack Awarded Second Lifetime Achievement Award", March 15, 2002, Lonnie Mack 2nd Cammy Award
- "List of Hall of Famers". Rockabillyhall.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- "Full Inductee List". Widmarcs.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- "The Guitar Collection". Theguitarcollectionbook.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2011.