Mack (born Lonnie McIntosh, July 18, 1941, Dearborn County,
Indiana, United States) is an American rock, blues and country guitarist and
In 1963 and early 1964, he recorded a succession of full-length electric
guitar instrumentals which combined blues stylism with fast-picking
techniques and a rock 'n' roll beat. The best-known of these are 'Memphis',
'Wham!', and 'Chicken Pickin''. These instrumentals established the standard
of virtuosity for a generation of rock guitarists and formed the leading
edge of the 'blues-rock' guitar genre. Reportedly, the tremolo arm commonly
found on electric guitars became known as the 'whammy bar', in recognition
of Mack's aggressive, rapid manipulation of the pitch-bending device in
In 1979, music historian Richard T. Pinnell, Ph.D., called 1963's 'Memphis'
a 'milestone of early rock guitar'. In 1980, the editors of Guitar World
magazine ranked 'Memphis' first among rock's top five 'landmark' guitar
recordings. He is widely regarded today as a pivotal historical figure in
expanding the role of the electric guitar in rock. Despite a modest
all-career recording output as a rock artist, he has been called 'one of the
great rock guitarists of all-time'. Mack is also regarded as one of the
finest early 'blue-eyed soul' singers. Crediting both Mack's R&B vocals and
his guitar solos, music critic Jimmy Guterman ranked Mack's first album,
1963's The Wham of that Memphis Man!, No. 16 in his book The 100 Best Rock
'n' Roll Records of All Time.
Mack released several singles in the '50s and '60s, as well as thirteen
original albums spanning a variety of genres between 1963 and 1990. He
enjoyed his greatest recognition as a blues-rock singer/guitarist, with
productive periods during the '60s and the latter half of the '80s. However,
an aversion to notoriety led him to switch musical genres and idle his
career as a rock artist for years, even decades, at a time.
In 2011, he announced an upcoming self-published album of informally
recorded compositions, including the recently released acoustic blues single
'The Times Ain't Right'.
Beyond his career as a solo artist, Mack recorded with The Doors, Stevie Ray
Vaughan, James Brown, Freddie King, Joe Simon, Ronnie Hawkins, Albert
Collins, Roy Buchanan, Dobie Gray and the sons of blues legend Arthur 'Big
Boy' Crudup, among others.