|Born Lonnie McIntosh in West Harrison, Indiana on July 18, 1941. Died April 21, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.|
|Hometown: West Harrison|
Lonnie McIntosh, known by his stage name Lonnie Mack, was born in Dearborn County Indiana. In the early 1960s he was a key figure in transforming the role of the electric guitar to that of a lead voice in rock music. Best known for his 1963 instrumental, “Memphis”, he has been called “a pioneer in rock guitar soloing” and a “ground-breaker” in lead guitar virtuosity.
By the late 1950s, Mack had assembled a band of his own. They performed throughout Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, playing both rockabilly and increasingly R&B-tinged rock and roll. He began using the stage-name “Mack” and for a time called his band “The Twilighters”, a reference to the Hamilton, Ohio club where they had had a steady engagement.
Ultimately, Mack released 11 albums and a number of singles as a band leader, with his debut LP The Wham Of That Memphis Man! released on Cincinnati label Fraternity Records in 1963. He recorded for Elektra Records, Capitol Records, Alligator Records, and Epic Records; he and Rusty York also released an bluegrass album on Cincinnati’s QCA label entitled Dueling Banjos Theme From Deliverance.
Mack was an in-demand session guitarist and bass player, working with The Doors, Stevie Ray Vaughn, James Brown, and Freddie King, among others.
Mack and Ed Labunski formed the blues rock band South in the late 1970’s, but Labunski’s untimely death in an auto accident spelled the end of that project.
In 1980, the editors of Guitar World magazine ranked “Memphis” first among rock’s top five “landmark” guitar recordings, ahead of recordings by Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Mike Bloomfield. Reportedly, the pitch-bending tremolo arm commonly found on electric guitars became known by the term “whammy bar” in recognition of Mack’s aggressive manipulation of the device in 1963’s “Wham!”.
Mack has been called a “guitar hero’s guitar hero”. He had a significant impact on guitarists Jeff Beck, Duane Allman, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dickey Betts, Neil Young and Ted Nugent, among others, and profoundly influenced the evolution of rock guitar. Mack and Vaughan became close friends and Vaughan said that “Wham!” was “the first record I ever owned” and that Mack was “the baddest guitar player I know”.
|Related Artists: South|
|Years Active: Late 1950’s – 2016|
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