Mac Davis, Country Singer and 'In the Ghetto' Songwriter, Dead at 78
By Jennifer Drysdale
Paul Morigi/Getty Images
Rest in peace, Mac Davis. The songwriter, perhaps best known for writing Elvis Presley's "In the Ghetto," died on Tuesday. He was 78.
Davis' manager of more than 40 years, Jim Morey, announced his death on Tuesday night. News broke on Monday that Davis was critically ill after undergoing heart surgery in Nashville.
"It's with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Mac Davis. He was surrounded by the love of his life and wife of 38 years, Lise, and his sons Scott, Noah and Cody," Morey wrote on Facebook. "Mac has been my client for over 40 years, and more importantly.. my best friend. He was a music legend but his most important work was that as a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend."
Morey continued, writing that he'll miss laughing with his longtime friend. "To quote from his song 'I Believe in Music'.. 'I could just sit around making music all day long/ As long as I'm making my music ain't gonna do nobody no harm/ And who knows maybe I'll come up with a song.' And he did...time after time," he said.
In addition to "In the Ghetto," Davis also wrote "A Little Less Conversation" for Presley. Following those hits in the late 1960s, he enjoyed his own successful career, with songs like "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me" and "Stop and Smell the Roses." He won the ACM Entertainer of the Year award in 1975.
Davis, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, had six Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. He also appeared on TV, starring in his own show, The Mac Davis Show, from 1974 to 1976, and later appearing in series like King of the Hill and That '70s Show. Most recently, Davis had a role on Dolly Parton's Heartstrings last year.