R.I.P. Mac Davis, singer, actor and variety show host

He wrote songs for Elvis and Dolly Parton along with his own number one hit.

Image: The Everett Collection

The 1980 country hit "Hooked on Music" opens with Mac Davis singing about the night he knew music was in his soul: "I heard a boy named Elvis Presley / Singin' 'That's Alright Mama' on the radio / And it turned me on / I been hooked on music / Hooked on music from that moment on."

Davis confirmed those beginning lines to be true in an interview last year. He also noted, "It's pretty amazing to me that some fourteen years [after that night in the lyrics] my first hit record was an Elvis Presley record." That song would be "A Little Less Conversation," performed in the 1968 Elvis movie Live a Little, Love a Little.

Davis continued to write for Presley, including songs "In the Ghetto" and "Don’t Cry Daddy," and in 1970 signed a deal with Columbia Records. Two years later, Davis had his own number one hit with "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me."

Davis' fun-loving and genial personality was on full display when he began hosting his own variety program in 1974. The show ran for three seasons and included musical performances, sketches, and a recurring bit where Davis would ask the audience for suggestions then write a song on the spot.

After The Mac Davis Show ended, its multi-talented host went on to star in movies like North Dallas Forty alongside Nick Nolte and The Sting II with Jackie Gleason.

Davis continued to act well into his later years, appearing in the 2003 remake of Where the Red Fern Grows, lending his voice to the animated show King of the Hill and recently acting in an episode of the Netflix anthology series Dolly Parton's Heartstrings — a fitting last role, as he wrote the title track for her 1993 album Slow Dancing with the Moon.

Davis continued to write music throughout his life as well. The Lubbock, Texas, native contributed to tracks by modern artists Avicii, Bruno Mars and Weezer lead singer Rivers Cuomo.

Over the years, Davis-penned songs have been recorded by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, Glen Campbell, Lou Rawls and Helen Reddy, just to name a few.

Mac Davis passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 78.

 
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Jorgal74 1 month ago
Watching Scottie Grow was an underrated hit! So many of his songs will last as classics. R.I.P. Mac
dictracy 1 month ago
My oldest sister used to just swoon over him, I remember watching his show, and she’d have to have all his records.
Barry22 1 month ago
RIP, Was his show on a network or was it syndicated?
UTZAAKE Barry22 1 month ago
The Mac Davis Show was on NBC. My older brother used to joke that it once featured either a one-man band or a one-kangaroo band. Don't remember if that was the case. What I do know is that his songwriting was underrated, "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me" and "One Hell of a Woman" are masterpieces and this song from 1980 is easily his most fun and memorable.
cperrynaples 1 month ago
Quite a few links between Mac & Helen! You already know about "I Believe In Music", but would you believe they both had summer variety shows on NBC that ran Thursday at 8? Helen went first in 1973 followed by Mac in 1974!
Helen's was a summer replacement I believe, and only lasted one season. Mac's was on for three seasons. A favorite segment of the show was when Mac would ask the audience for song topics, and he'd make the song up on the spot.
Yep, both shows replaced Flip Wilson and one of Mac's 3 shows replaced Ironside!
stephaniestavropoulos 1 month ago
He wrote and recorded so many good songs. R.I.P Mac. Now you and and the Aussie Angel can sing together in Heaven. I think a virtual sing-a-long should be done in Helen's and Mac's memory. Their signature songs should be their "eulogies." {Well I think it is Mac's signature song, because A. it's my favorite of his, and B. the words mean as much as they did when they were first sung, as they do now:} I Believe In Music. For Helen of course it's I Am woman.
KMT6600 1 month ago
so sad for us the best R going to heaven
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