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Mississippi Writers and Musicians
MISSISSIPPI MUSICIANS: Mac McAnally


Mac McAnally Mac McAnally

Major Works

  • Mac McAnally
  • No Problem Here
  • Cuttin' Corners
  • Nothin' but the Truth
  • Finish Lines
  • Simple Life
  • Live and Learn
  • Knots
  • Word of Mouth (June '99)

Collaboration CD's

  • One Voice
  • The Prince of Egypt
  • The Stars Come Out For
  • Christmas
  • Friends for Life

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Mac McAnally: A Biography
By Josh Ammerman (SHS)

On July 15, 1957 in Red Bay, Alabama, a man named Lyman "Mac" Corbitt McAnally, Jr., was born.  Mac McAnally has contributed  much to the world of music,  not only as a songwriter but also as a singer.  McAnally grew up in Belmont, Mississippi,  with his father as one of his high school administrators.  This outstanding musician began  his musical career at the early age of three, singing while his mother played the piano.  After that,  his mother had him take piano lessons to extend his apparent musical talents.   Mac got a job playing the piano for a state line club in southern Tennessee.  Soon thereafter,  he started to play the guitar for fun.  At the age of fifteen,  Mac began his song writing career when wrote the song, "People Call Me Jesus."

While in the eleventh grade at his high school in Belmont, Mississippi,  McAnally convinced  his father to let him have a "premature graduation."  Since  his father was the assistant principal of his high school this was a hard task.  However,  he was soon able to wear his father down.  His father finally allowed him to quit school.  He thenJosh Ammerman, SHS researcher began playing night clubs around the state (Trammel).  When Mac was seventeen,   he moved to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and started working in the music recording industry.  He signed  with Wishbone Production and Publishing Company  as a songwriter and artist (Alabama hall.).

Mac had very few influences as a child; but  his first record was "Let it Be" by the Beatles.  Mac's music career didn't pick up until producers Terry Woodford and Clayton Ivey heard some of his material.   They encouraged him to record some of his music.  Mac released the cut "I Need You Tonight, " which appeared on a Hank Williams  recording. He then  released his first solo album, Mac McAnally on Ariola Records in 1977.  One of Mac's most famous songs came from that album.  The song "Its a Crazy World" became a hit on the radio  and became number two on the adult contemporary charts and made it into the pop top forty chart.  It was apparent that Mac was good at music (Trammel).

Mac McAnallyMac was a hit and was compared to literary figures like William Faulkner and Flannery O' Conner.  His songs were what he called "short stories mashed into a popular song format." (union county historical...)  After the release of his first album,  Mac began to tour.  He played gigs in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, and  New York City.  A year after the release of his first album,  Mac released, "No Problem Here, " which was also a superb expression of Mac's talent.  Mac was under a lot of pressure to put this album out, so it was kind of rushed.  Mac then released, "Cutting Corners" in 1980.  For this album  Mac made the big leap from Ariola to MCA records because Ariola was "going disco".   Mac has released five albums since then,  and a new solo album was to be released during the summer of 1999.

Mac has also worked with other artists on several albums,  including the Prince of Egypt soundtrack  (Mac.McAnally.com).  He has more than just his solo singing career under his belt.  He  has also been a songwriter for many famous people, having written  Shenendoah's "Two Dozen Roses" and Alabama's Old Flame (Highland Vill...).  He also works a lot with Jimmy Buffet,  and he is currently on tour with him.  In fact,  Mac will be touring with Jimmy all summer long ('99).  He will playing smaller gigs on his nights off. Mac has had a strong musical career so far.  With the release of his new album in the summer he shows us that he is not done yet.

In the spring of 1999, McAnally was presented with an award given to him by the Mississippi Arts and Letters Commission.

UPDATE 2010:

McAnally has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and named Country Music Association's Musician of the Year in recent years. In 2010 he was the winner of one of four Mississippi Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

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Timeline

1957 -  Lyman Corbitt McAnally is born on July 15

1960 -  Began musical career singing for mom

1960?  Began taking piano lessons

1970 - Got first job playing piano for night club

1971 - Bought first record, "Let it Be" (the Beatles)

1972 - Began song writing career writing "People call me Jesus"

1973 or 74 -Quits school in the eleventh  grade

1976 -  Moves to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and begins working in the music industry

1977 - Released "Mac McAnally"appears on mac.mcanally.com on Ariola Records

1978 -  Released "No Problem Here"appears on mac.mcanally.com on Ariola Records

1980 -  Released "Cuttin' Corners"appears on mac.mcanally.com on RCA records

1983 -  Released "Noting But the Truth"appears on mac.mcanally.com on Geffen

1988 - Released "Finishing Lines"appears on mac.mcanally.com on Geffen

1989 - Released "Simple Life"appears on mac.mcanally.com on WB/Geffen

1992 - Released "Live And Learn"appears on mac.mcanally.com on MCA

1994 - Released "Knots"appears on mac.mcanally.com on MCA

1996 - Released the song "Its everything" on the CD  "One Voice"appears on mac.mcanally.com on MCA
         - Released the song "Just one night" on the CD  "The Stars Come Out For Christmas"appears on mac.mcanally.com on Steve Vaus Productions
         - released the song " Only Passing Through" on the cd "Friends for Life (recorded at the Bluebird Cafe)"appears on mac.mcanally.com
         on Alive Hospice Inc.

1998 - released the song "The Moving of the Mountain"on the "Prince of Egypt"appears on mac.mcanally.comsoundtrack on Dreamworks

1999 - released the CD  "Word of Mouth"

2004 Semi-True Stories

2006 Cuttin' Corners (re-release)

2009 Down by the River

2010 Winner of Mississippi Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts

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Related Websites


The official Mac McAnally home page

Wikipedia biography for Mac McAnally.

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Bibliography

"Alabama Hall of Fame"[online]www.alamhof.org/mcanally.htm

Dilworth, Andrea Wright.  "Highland Village hosts state sons". The Clarion-Ledger 7. May, 1998:  8F

"Mac.McAnally.com" [online]www.mac.mcanally.com.March '99

Trammel Mike."Its a Crazy World, the unofficial Mac McAnally  homepage.[online]www.noproblemhere.com.March '99

Union County Historical Society. Mac McAnally . P.O. Box 657 New Albany, Ms 38652

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Last updated in 2010
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