Mack Rice (1933 - 2016)
By: Legacy Staff
2 years ago
Mack Rice, the singer-songwriter who penned “Mustang Sally” and other hits made famous by Wilson Pickett and other big-name artists, died June 27 of Alzheimer’s disease complications at his home in Detroit, Michigan, according to multiple news sources. He was 82.
Rice was born Bonny Rice Nov. 10, 1933, in Clarksdale, Mississippi. By the early 1950s, his family had moved to Detroit. In high school there, he joined up with the Five Scalders rhythm and blues group.
After graduating high school, Rice was drafted into the U.S. Army. After returning home in 1955, he joined the Falcons, members of which included Eddie Floyd, Joe Stubbs, and Wilson Pickett. Pickett would go on to sing “Mustang Sally,” which became a huge hit for him as a solo artist in 1966. “Respect Yourself,” which Rice co-wrote with Luther Ingram, was a big hit for the Staple Singers.
Although Rice started his solo singing career with the Stax Records label, his greatest fame would come as a writer of songs for other Stax and Motown artists.
Among the well-known artists who recorded Rice’s songs were Ike and Tina Turner, Etta James, Rufus Thomas, Buddy Guy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Otis Clay, and the Kingsmen.
In a June 28 Facebook post, the musician Alejandro Escovedo paid tribute to the artist also known as Sir Mack Rice.
“When you meet someone like Sir Mack Rice, you remember,” Escovedo wrote. “It was 1999 performing in Chicago at Nick Tremulis’ Waltz benefit concert.” He said Rice was “a vision in his suits, the voice, and he sure could write a song. In Peace, Sir Mack.”
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