Bill Mack, the Texas-born country music icon, has died at the age of 91 following a battle with COVID-19. Mack had three children, Misty Dawn, Billy Mack III and Sunday Renee, with his wife, Cynthia. Mack had another daughter, Debbie, from a previous relationship. Mack was a native of Shamrock, Texas. There is a Bill Mack Street in his hometown.
Mack’s son, Bill Mack III, broke the sad news on Twitter on the morning of July 31. Mack III tweeted, “I’m deeply saddened to tell you that my Dad passed away early this morning due to COVID-19 with underlying conditions. He was an amazing father, grandfather, great grandfather and husband to my mom. I’m blessed to have had not only a great dad but my best friend as well.”
Mack Won a Grammy Award in 1996 for His Song ‘Blue,’ Which Was Recorded by LeAnn Rimes
Mack’s song “Drinking Champagne” was recorded by Cal Smith and George Strait. In 1999, Mack was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2014, Mack was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriter’s Association. A note about Mack on the association’s website refers to him by his various monikers including, “Mr. DJ USA” and “Texas’ Number One Country DJ.” The bio adds that Mack is a member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Mack’s Country Music Radio Show Was Syndicated to 800 Stations
In addition to his songwriting, Mack was known for his various country music radio programs that were broadcast out of Fort Worth, Texas, where he was based. Mack’s first break came in the early 1950s when he hosted The Big Six Jamboree in Wichita Falls, Texas, according to a profile on Last.fm.
A profile on Mack on Overdrive Online begins with the words, “Nobody in broadcasting has a more recognizable voice than Overdrive Top Ten Countdown host Bill Mack.”
Mack was the host of The Country Roads Show and later on the nationally syndicated Country Crossroads and Overdrive Top Ten Countdown. Mack’s son, Billy Mack III, hosts his own show on 92.1 Hank FM in Fort Worth, Texas. Mack resigned from his role with Sirius XM in 2011.
According to Mack’s Facebook page, he studied at West Texas A&M University.
Mack published an autobiography titled Bill Mack’s Memories from the Trenches of Broadcasting in 2004. An earlier biography, Spins and Needles, was published in 1970 and is now out of print.
The Mack Family Was Struck by Tragedy in 2016 When His Great-Granddaughter Was the Sole Survivor of a Car Crash That Killed Her Mother
In 2016, Mack was struck by tragedy when his great-grandaughter, Keira Adkison, was the sole survivor of a horrific car crash in Grand Prairie, Texas. The crash killed Adkison’s mother as well as the young child’s grandparents. Mack was quoted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as saying at the time, “Little Keira is just starting out in life, and now she’s starting without her mother and those grandparents. … And the people in the truck, they’re OK. But I think of all the truckers who would call and tell me how worried they were about something happening on the road.”