July 18--Lubbock has a rich musical heritage, and Mac Davis is an important part of it. He is performing a concert in Lubbock Saturday night, and it's always nice to have him return home.
Davis and fellow music legend Buddy Holly have many things in common. Both were talented singers and songwriters, both graduated from Lubbock High School and both started their music careers at young ages.
Decades after the first record releases of Holly and Davis, recordings of the two musical greats continue to sell well today.
Holly's legacy as a rock 'n' roll pioneer and an inspiration to the Beatles and many other groups endears him to those in his hometown.
But Davis's many accomplishments in the music world, as well as in many other areas of show business, have helped him become as much of a treasure to Lubbock as Holly.
He has had a decades-long successful recording and performing career. In addition to writing his own music, he has written songs for many other artists, such as "In the Ghetto," "Memories" and "A Little Less Conversation" for Elvis Presley.
But he has been successful in many other ways:
-- He hosted a television variety show on NBC from 1974 to 1976.
-- After his movie debut portraying a pro football player in "North Dallas Forty" in 1979, he appeared in many other movies and other acting roles.
-- He starred as Will Rogers in the Broadway production of "The Will Rogers Follies."
-- He was one of former "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson's favorite guests and was adept at witty conversation and telling funny anecdotes, such as one about his first songwriting sale that became a record -- "The Phantom Strikes Again" by the 1960s group Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs. Davis then made Carson laugh by performing part of the song.
His many talents and pleasant professional demeanor have taken him a long way in his career, and he never forgot his Lubbock roots.
When Lubbock celebrated its centennial in 2008 and 2009, Davis was there for the opening and closing concerts. He was a genial and humorous emcee as well as a performer.
It's appropriate Mac Davis Lane, formerly Sixth Street, runs between the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, where many outstanding artists have performed and the future home of the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, where many great artists will perform in the future.
Buddy Holly and Mac Davis aren't the only great musicians to have once called Lubbock home, but they are the most famous ones. We are proud of their careers and for all they have meant to Lubbock.
Davis recalled in an interview with A-J Media writer Williams Kerns about being 16 and seeing Buddy Holly drive down University Avenue, then called College Avenue, in a new Pontiac Catalina convertible.
"And I said if Buddy can do it, so can I," he recalled.
And then he went and did just that.
Welcome back to Lubbock, Mac.
-- Our position: Mac Davis is primarily known as a singer and songwriter, but, as A-J Media entertainment writer William Kerns once said, he went on to conquer all show business avenues, from music to movies, from Nashville to Las Vegas and Hollywood.
-- Why you should care: Davis is an important part of Lubbock's musical history, and he pleases his local fans by periodically returning to his hometown to play. He wrote memorably in the song "Texas In My Rearview Mirror" how he had learned 'happiness is Lubbock, Texas, growin' nearer and nearer."
For more information: Log on to our website, www.lubbockonline.com, and enter the words "Mac Davis" in the search box.
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