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Singer-actor Mac Davis (1942-2020)


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Mac Davis, the country and pop music singer-songwriter and sometime actor, died Tuesday at the age of 78. His family announced via Twitter on Monday that Davis had become “critically ill following heart surgery in Nashville.” His death was confirmed Tuesday night by Jim Morey, Davis' longtime manager. 

"He was a music legend but his most important work was that as a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend,” Morey posted on Facebook. “I will miss laughing about our many adventures on the road and his insightful sense of humor."

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The native of Lubbock, Texas gained attention as a songwriter with the success of Elvis Presley's 1969 reality based tune "In the Ghetto." The song, about a cycle of violence in an impoverished Chicago neighborhood, went to No. 3 on Billboard's pop chart. Other Davis songs recorded by Elvis included: "Memories" (1968), "A Little Less Conversation" (1968) and "Don't Cry Daddy" (1969).

On October 14, 1970, Davis guest starred on ABC's "The Johnny Cash Show" as a singer.  He performed "A Poem For My Little Lady" and "I Believe In Music," one of his first songs to hit Billboard magazine's pop chart.

Davis had a major hit as a performer in 1972 with his song "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me." It went to No. 1 on Billboard's pop chart and its Easy Listening chart.

Between 1974 and 1976, NBC made room on its Thursday night schedule for several versions of "The Mac Davis Show." In a 1975 episode, he welcomed guest stars Donny and Marie Osmond and Florence Henderson (pictured below) The final edition of the variety show in 1976 featured regular appearances by the mime duo Shields and Yarnell, comedian Ron Silver and a singing and dancing group known as Strutt.

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Davis made a noteworthy screen debut opposite Nick Nolte in the 1979 sports comedy/drama "North Dallas Forty," based on the acclaimed 1973 best-selling novel by former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Pete Gent (1942-2011). The film's central character, the fictional North Dallas Bulls receiver Phil Elliott (Nolte) was based on Gent. Davis played the team's Southern-fried, laidback quarterback Seth Maxwell -- modeled after Cowboys QB "Dandy" Don Meredith (1938-2010). Like the book, the film was an indictment of the horrors of pro football. It also produced a great movie quote by Bulls defensive lineman O.W, Shadduck (John Matuszak), who tells an assistant coach: "Every time I call it a game, you call it a business. And every time I call it a business, you call it a game." 

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Paul Newman and Robert Redford were unavailable for a sequel to the 1973 Oscar-winning comedy/drama "The Sting." In 1983, the lead characters in "The Sting II" were played by Jackie Gleason (as Fargo Gondorff) and Jake Hooker (Davis). The characters' names were slightly different from the ones played by Newman and Redford. Directed by Jeremy Paul Kagan, the movie's screenplay was written by David S. Ward - a Best Original Screenplay Oscar winner for the first movie.

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"A Little Less Conversation," co-written by Davis and Billy Strange, was first used for the 1968 Elvis musical comedy "Live a Little, Love a Little." It was a minor hit, but gained a second life on the soundtrack of the 2001 heist film "Ocean's Eleven." A year later, a remix of the song by Dutch musician Junkie XL (a.k.a. Tom Holkenborg) became a worldwide hit.

 

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Goodbye to my great friend Mac Davis.
 
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Mac Davis, the country singer and songwriter who fist found fame writing A Little Less Conversation and In The Ghetto for Elvis Presley has died at 78. He also had own hits like Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me and Stop and Smell the Roses and a cool TV variety show in the ‘70s.
 
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Prayers for Mac Davis. Love for Mac and family in this tough time. ****@Gloria
 
 
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Damn.  For a while back in the '70's he was the hottest thing on toast.  

His music and singing seemed peasant enough.  Never myself a fan, but he was OK.  

Rest In Peace, Mac.

Sepiatone

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Yep, quite the multi-talented guy, alright.

I still remember being very impressed by his first big screen role in North Dallas Forty playing the laidback but still savvy quarterback in it. A film that's still probably the best movie ever made about professional football.

(...R.I.P., Mac)

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7 hours ago, Dargo said:

Yep, quite the multi-talented guy, alright.

I still remember being very impressed by his first big screen role in North Dallas Forty playing the laidback but still savvy quarterback in it. A film that's still probably the best movie ever made about professional football.

(...R.I.P., Mac)

Agree 100%, Dargo. I'm surprised he didn't go on to a bigger movie/TV career because he seems like a natural in North Dallas Forty, one of my favorite movies.

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On 9/30/2020 at 11:59 AM, jakeem said:

Paul Newman and Robert Redford were unavailable for a sequel to the 1973 Oscar-winning comedy/drama "The Sting." In 1983, the lead characters in "The Sting II" were played by Jackie Gleason (as Fargo Gondorff) and Jake Hooker (Davis). The characters' names were slightly different from the ones played by Newman and Redford. Directed by Jeremy Paul Kagan, the movie's screenplay was written by David S. Ward - a Best Original Screenplay Oscar winner for the first movie.

I'd LIKE to say good underappreciated things about The Sting II--like, even though Gleason & Davis weren't Newman & Redford, they did a pleasant enough job of turning it into a sort of network TV-series pilot--but sadly, that would not be true.  Kagan takes clever material and insists on making it as slob-lowbrow as he can, and let's not even discuss turning Robert Shaw's Doyle Lonagan into Oliver Reed as a grumpy Disney-villain.

That said, Mac is actually pretty good as replacement-Redford, and the twist addition of Teri Garr's character makes you want to see a TV series out of it.

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