Bill Mack “The Midnight Cowboy” died due to complications of Covid-19 July 31,2020. The radio DJ/ songwriter was 91.
Mack was born in Sherman, Texas June 4, 1929. He is best known in country music for writing the songs, “Blue,” and “Drinking Champagne.”
Bill Mack worked overnights in Ft. Worth, Texas as a radio host for many years at WBAP. Beginning in 1969, his show was called The Country Roads Show. Many sleepy-eyed truckers who were traveling during late night hours would tune in to the show as they were traveling across the Lone Star State and beyond. WBAP-AM could be heard across about half of the country. Bill earned the moniker of “The Midnight Cowboy” from one of the overnight listeners. He later renamed his show that. In more recent years, Bill’s distinctive voice could be heard on XM radio channel 171. He was a radio host on the “Open Road” channel.
“Blue” was written and recorded by Bill in 1958. He first pitched the song to Patsy Cline at a show in San Antonio, Texas. He had a demo tape made with a girl in San Antonio who “sounded like Patsy.” He sent the song to Patsy in hopes of her recording it. Unfortunately, she died in a plane crash before being able to record the song.
Mack composed the song within 15 minutes. His wife at the time told him it was the best song that he had ever written.
“ I had no idea what would happen forty years later”Bill Mack
The song which had sat in a semi dormant state re-surfaced on June 4th 1996. LeAnn Rimes was only 13 years old when she recorded it for her debut album.
The song earned LeAnn Rimes a Grammy for Country Song of the Year.
“I am for ever grateful for him. (Bill Mack) and the music he created.”LeAnn Rimes
“We will be ‘Blue’ without you Bill.”LeAnn Rimes- Reposted from her Twitter Account.
“Drinking Champagne,” released in the mid-sixties. The song first gained national attention after reaching the country charts in 1968. The Single recorded by Cal Smith reached #35 in 1968.
Artists like Faron Young, Ray Price, Dean Martin, and Willie Nelson would also release versions of the song.
In 1990 George Strait took “Drinking Champagne” to #4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
Strait’s version was the second single from his album Livin’ it Up.
Bill Mack said that the words of the song just sort of came to him. It was easy for him to write the song he said.
Mack was inducted into the Texas Country music Hall of Fame in 1999.
The world will miss Bill Mack, but His music will live on.
So I’ll keep drinking champagne, feeling no pain ‘till early morning.