According to his son Billy Mack Jr. died on COVID-19 a longtime radio DJ in North Texas and award-winning country music composer Bill Mack.
Mack, who was an essential part of country radio in the 1960s, died almost Friday, just two days after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was 91 years old.
“I am very sad to tell you that my father died this morning due to COVID-19 with basic conditions. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, grandfather and husband of my mother. I am blessed to have not only a great father, but also my best friend, “said Mack’s son Billy Mack Jr. on Twitter.
Mack’s son spoke to NBC on Friday afternoon 5, saying his father had dementia and lived in a memory facility when he was diagnosed with the virus. On Wednesday, he was confirmed to have fluid in his lungs and COVID-19 and was rushed to Irving’s ICU.
Soon after, doctors told the family that Mack had very little time left.
Mack’s son said that since his father was positive for COVID-19, he, his mother and his three sisters could only say goodbye during the conference call.
“We had to say goodbye to him yesterday. My sister played Clinging to Saving Hand, a song he had written for years. He said he wanted to hear it, so we just played it and tried to sing a little bit. with that, ”said Mack Jr. “He couldn’t speak very well, but his sense of humor was still there. One of the things he told us, “Boys, please pull me out in front of your sister. “
Mack Jr. he said the family had taken all precautions against the disease and hoped to visit his father soon – never realizing that when they saw him in March, it would be the last time they would face them.
“You hear stories of nursing homes and people infected, but you never thought it would happen,” said Mack Jr. He added that the memory care facility where his father lived was fantastic and treated his father like a family. They are not yet sure how the virus got into the device, and Mack Jr. said his father is considered the first diagnosed diagnoser. “My heart goes to them too.”
Mack Jr. he said his father would be a lasting legacy involving a great father, a great friend and someone who tried to share stories about music and movies to his family of listeners.
Born in Shamrock, Panhandle, Mack was known to his loyal listeners as “country music dean jockeys” and “Midnight Cowboy radio” for his dual status as a DJ and country music composer.
He first hit the waves at Fort Worth in 1969 as a disc jockey at WBAP 820-AM, where he hosted the Country Roads Show and played music for night truckers.
The show, which aired from the historic WBAP studios, where NBC 5 also aired for the first time, was later renamed the Midnight Cowboy Trucking Show, which is associated with his name. The show, with its clear channel signal, reached listeners in Texas and most of the United States.
This show is still broadcast, although today it is known as Red Eye Radio. Current host Eric Harley said on Twitter that he was “deeply saddened by the graduation of longtime friend and former radio partner Bill Mack. The legend. In 1969, he founded an all-night show on WBAP, which eventually became Red-Eye Radio. “My love and prayers are with Cindy, Billy and family. Rest in peace, brother.”
“When you see Bill Mack, the Texas flag is in the background, Big Texas and all the other iconic symbols that go with Texas at the Texas State Fair,” Harley said during an interview with NBC 5.
Harley heard Mack go on Twitter this morning.
“It’s really devastating because Bill was more than just a colleague. He was more than just a friend. He was like a brother. He was the perfect companion for everyone he met, “he said.
Harley grew up listening to Mack’s radio show and later joined him as a co-host.
“He was so kind and I thought there was this legend I was working with,” Harley said. “One night he said, ‘Son, I’m going to give you coffee.’ And he went down the hall and made us coffee. He was such a guy. You couldn’t imagine how kind and gentle he was until you met him in person. “
After leaving the terrestrial airwaves, Mack then hosted a show on XM Satellite Radio for the next decade before leaving in 2011.
Mack’s country music songs have been recorded by more than fifty artists, culminating in a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Country Song and Song of the Year from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Radio Music Awards for Blue.
The same song also won 13-year-old LeAnn Rimes first Grammy for recording the song.
Another of Mack’s hits, Drinking Champagne, was a hit for singer Cal Smith in the 1960s and George Strait in 1990. Other popular performances of Dean Martin and Willie Nelson’s songs were played live and available on YouTube.
Mack was named to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999 and is an inducer of the Texas Heritage Composers Association. As for his radio career, Mack was grounded in 1982 in Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame.
Mack will also perform every concert at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth.
“I’m pretty sure if you looked in the dictionary for ‘country music,’ you’ll see a picture of Bill Mack,” said Pam Minick of Billy Bob. It’s a real walking encyclopedia. Most importantly, I consider him a great friend. God, Bill Mack, you’re a country and I’m going to miss you. “
Harley said he lost family members to COVID-19 and is sad that they can’t meet for Mack.
“I know it’s hard when you can’t join as a band, and it would be a big band for Bill.” I’m telling you right now, it’s going to fill a lot, a lot, a lot of churches, and it’s so hard to know that his friends he had all over the world couldn’t be for him, “he said. “While we cannot be here to express our condolences in person, we are here and will continue to do so and pay tribute to him for a long, long time.”
Funeral plans have not yet been announced, but the family said they would hold a service to celebrate his life when it was safe to bring people together in one room.
Macka was survived by his wife Cindy, son of Billy and two daughters, Misty and Sunnie. Her death was preceded by her daughter Debbie.