Mac Gayden

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Mac Gayden
OriginNashville, Tennessee, United States
GenresR&B, pop, folk, roots
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsGuitar, slide guitar, banjo
Years active1960s–present
LabelsWild Child Records
Associated actsArea Code 615
Barefoot Jerry Skyboat, Zenphonic, Oceana Gayden

McGavock Dickinson Gayden is an American rock and country singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. He is also president of Wild Child Records, formed in 2004.[1]


Gayden was born in Nashville, Tennessee. In the early 1970s, he helped establish two critically acclaimed bands, Area Code 615 (signed with Polydor) and Barefoot Jerry (signed with Capitol Records), in which he played guitars and keyboards and sang. Gayden left Barefoot Jerry in 1972 to form his own band, Skyboat. He also served as producer of an album by Dianne Davidson (Baby) and one by Steve Young (To Satisfy You).

Biggest hit[edit]

Gayden's biggest hit as a writer is considered to be the song "Everlasting Love", which he co-wrote with Buzz Cason, recorded originally by Robert Knight, a Top 20 hit in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. It became a number one hit in the United Kingdom when covered by the Love Affair in January 1968. Carl Carlton's popular rock version was a number six hit in the U.S. in 1974 and has logged over five million plays, according to BMI. Gayden wrote part of the song when he was five years old on his grandmother's piano. The song is one of two that has had hit status every decade for the last four. Gayden was performing at a fraternity house at Vanderbilt, when on break he heard the voice of Robert Knight at another frat house, ran down and introduced himself, and got together with Knight to write a song for his voice. He then proceeded to meet with Knight, and finish up the song with a friend Buzz. Gayden is known for his R&B hits and influences.

Other recordings of "Everlasting Love"[edit]

Many artists have recorded the song, including German singer Sandra, who had a hit with it in Germany and all across Europe in 1987, and Gloria Estefan, who reached the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1995. U2 recorded the song on the B-side of "All I Want is You", Jamie Cullum had a hit with the song in 2009, and it was used in the films Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (two versions were used), America's Sweethearts, Forces of Nature, and Veronica Guerin.

Other songs[edit]

Gayden wrote another hit entitled "She Shot a Hole in My Soul" recorded by Clifford Curry, also covered by the Box Tops. Gayden as a writer favored R&B music; as he said, "Nashville was an R&B rivertown, until country music came in and started giving the blues artists on the street citations for playing on the street and then called it a Country Music Town." Gayden wrote songs for several black singing groups, Robert Knight (see above), the Valentines, and Clifford Curry, who in 2009 was honored in a compilation CD, Night Train to Nashville and won a Grammy. Gayden performed with Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys, John Hiatt, Loudon Wainwright, Joe Simon, Ivory Joe Hunter, Margie Hendrixs, Kris Kristofferson, Gregg and Duane Allman, Steve Young, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ian & Sylvia, Elvis Presley, Hoyt Axton, Leonard Cohen, and Simon & Garfunkel among others. Gayden has written country hits for Bobby Bare and Porter Wagoner.

Guitar work[edit]

Gayden is also a session guitarist and is renowned for his innovative wah-wah slide guitar technique, as showcased on the early 1970s J. J. Cale hit "Crazy Mama".[2] He also wrote a number of successful songs, including "Hayride", which was a major Australian hit for Flying Circus. "La La" was an even bigger hit. He also co-wrote and co-produced Robert Knight's "Love on a Mountain Top". Simon Cowell recorded Gayden's "Love on a Mountaintop" on Sinitta (Top 20, 1989). When Gayden played on Bob Dylan's album Blonde on Blonde, Dylan's producer Bob Johnston asked to produce an album for him; the album, McGavock Gayden, was released by EMI Records.


Gayden is currently producing groups, one is his daughter Oceana Gayden, and has performed at Bonnaroo and other festivals with her. The other group he is working with now is a group called Sweetwater Rose, which he put together and produced and is currently performing with.


Gayden practices Transcendental Meditation, and he and his family have performed numerous times at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, and also in support of the David Lynch Foundation, which is dedicated to bringing the practice of meditation to under-performing public schools.[3] His music has sometimes reflected this personal dimension. (See "Waterboy", "Diamond Mandala", and "The Minstrel Is Free at Last" on Skyboat and Hymn to the Seeker.)


  • McGavock Gayden (produced by Bob Johnston)
  • Skyboat
  • Hymn to the Seeker
  • Nirvana Blues (CD)

More listed at


  1. ^ "Wild Child Records". Wild Child Records. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  2. ^ "Mac Gayden legendary slide wah guitarist song writer Everlasting Love". Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  3. ^ "Interview with Mac Gayden". Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.

External links[edit]