The music never stops. . .

     No one can say that his lifetime goal was to rise quickly to stardom.  Mac McAnally just loves music.  As an artist loves to paint, the sculptor lives to mold and the dancer envelopes movement as a work of art, Mac’s media of music is just who he is.

     If you have trouble placing the name, don’t feel alone.  Admired and popular by some of the most prominent musicians, Mac has done some of his best work behind the scenes, taking little credit, just to name a few, for the work of Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett, Alabama and Sawyer Brown.  Song writing and producing have placed him on top of the scale for many popular Nashville favorites that relish in the spotlight. 

     Named Lyman Corbitt McAnally, Jr. in 1957, McAnally was born in Red Bay, Alabama.  The family moved to Belmont, Mississippi where he grew up and his local church brought music into his life.  The piano and choir offered a solace of melodies that stuck in his head and soon he was expanding the tunes, making his own music and living his dream by the age of 15 when he composed his first song, “People Call Me Jesus.” Often noted as saying, Mac was born to be a musician; the piano and guitar proved to be his best friends as soon as he could walk and still are today. 

     By 1977 McAnally had caught the attention of producers as he played as a session musician and was quickly signed on to Ariola Records, where he recorded a couple of albums with songs that hit the Billboard Hot 100 at #37 and #41.  Mac could have easily become a household name at this point in time, but songwriting was his major passion.  By 1981, Jimmy Buffett and Hank Williams, Jr. were using his songs to produce top selling hits.  After Alabama’s “Old Flame”, written by McAnally, it soared to Number 1 in 1981, and his reputation as a hit songwriter was complete. 

     McAnally is not doing anything differently than he has for the past 40 years , however lately people are taking notice for the first time.  In 2007, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.  This seemed to start the ball rolling for notoriety when the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame quickly recognized him followed by the Country Music Association.  In November 2010, McAnally was named Musician of the Year at the 44th annual Country Music Association awards show for the third time.  2011 has already bestowed McAnally with the Excellence in Music Award to be presented by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour at the 2011 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts ceremony on February 24, 2011.

     Living in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with his family, Mac considers himself the luckiest person on earth.  He has been living his dream  for decades and is now being recognized for a lifetime of musical artistic abilities.  Has this changed Mac into an egotistical celebrity?  Not at all.

     “I keep thinking I’m going to get used to it (the fame) because it’s been going on for a little while now.  But I feel like there’s something wrong with this picture and that something is me,” says Mac when asked how stardom feels. 

     Watch for Mac McAnally in the upcoming seasons that finally proves what an inspiration his music has been on the country scene.  A door has been opened that can never be closed for this unselfish talented artist. More

Published by on March 2011. Filed under Archives, Art-in-Performance Section, Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Centerstage Section, CountryStyle AIP, Cover Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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