Texas Radio’s ‘Midnight Cowboys,’ Country Song Writer Bill Mc Dice of COVID-19, Family Sage – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth


According to his son Billy Mack Jr., longtime North Texas radio DJ and award-winning country music songwriter Bill Mack has died from COVID-19.

Stack on Country Radio, which began in the 1960s, died early Friday, just two days after the diagnosis of COVID-19. He was 91 years old.

“I feel very sorry to tell you that my father passed away this morning due to COVID-19 with underlying conditions. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, great-grandfather and husband to my mother. . I have received his blessing. ” Not only a great father, but my best friend, “Mac’s son said,” Billy Mack Jr. on Twitter.

Mack’s son spoke with NBC at 5pm Friday and said his father was suffering from dementia and lived in a memory care facility while suffering from the virus. On Wednesday, he was confirmed to have fluid in his lungs and COVID-19 and was taken to the Irving ICU.

Shortly thereafter, doctors told the family that Mac had very little time left.

Mac’s son stated that since his father was positive for COVID-19, he, his mother and his three sisters were only able to say goodbye on a conference call.

“We asked him to say his goodbye yesterday. My sister wrote Clinging to a Saving Hand, a song he had written years ago. He said he wanted to listen to it so we played it and tried to sing along with a little song. Ki. With that, “Mack Jr. said. “He couldn’t speak very well, but his sanity was still there. One thing he told us was,” Guys, would you please pull yourself together, you’re embarrassing me in front of the nurse . “


NBC 5 News

Billy Mack Jr. smiles while talking with NBC 5 about his father, veteran DJ and songwriter Bill Mack, July 31, 2020.

Mack Jr. said the family took every precaution against the disease and hoped to be able to visit his father again soon – never realizing that this would be the last time he would be seen in March Will happen when they are face to face.

“You hear stories of nursing homes and infected people, but you would have never thought that” Mack Jr. said the memory care facility where his father lived was fantastic and his father behaved like a family. They are not yet sure how the virus got inside the facility and Mack Jr. said his father believes the first resident was diagnosed. “My heart goes out to them too.”

Mack Jr. said his father’s lasting legacy would be that of a great father, a great friend, and someone who tried to share stories about music and films to the family of his listeners.

Bill mack in 1971


NBC 5 / UNT Portal for History

Bill Mac in front of WBAP Radio and TV Studios in 1971.

Born in the Pantheon town of Sedative, Mack was known to his loyal listeners as “Dean of the Country Music Disc Jockey” and “Radio’s Midnight Cowboy” due to his dual status as a country music DJ and songwriter.

He first hit Airways as a disc jockey on the WBAP 820-AM in 1969 in Fort Worth, where he hosted the Country Roads Show and played music for truck drivers throughout the night.

The show, which aired from the historic WBAP studios where NBC 5 also first went on air, was later renamed to the Midnight Cowboy Trucking Show, which is associated with its moniker. The show reached listeners in Texas and much of the United States with its clear channel signal.

Bill mack in 1973


NBC 5 / UNT Portal for History

Bill Mack at his WBAP-AM studio in Fort Worth in 1973.

The show is still on the air, although it is now known as Red Eye Radio. Current host Eric Harley said on Twitter He was, “deeply saddened by the passing of longtime friend and former radio partner Bill Mack. A legend. In 1969, he founded the all-night show on WBAP, which eventually became Red Eye Radio. My love and Prayers are together. Cindy, Billy and family. Rest in peace, brother. “

“When you look at Bill Mack, there’s the Texas flag in the background, Big Texas at the Great State Fair, and all those other iconic symbols that go with Texas,” Harley told an interview with NBC 5 Said during.

Harley heard about Mack’s demise on Twitter this morning.

“It is really devastating because the bill was more than just an ally. He was more than just a friend. He was like a brother. He was a classmate meeting everyone, ”he said.

Harley grew up listening to Mac’s radio show and later joined her as a co-host.

“He was very kind and I thought I was working with myself,” said Harley. “One night he said: Son, I’m going to get you some coffee.” And he went down the hall and made us both coffee. He was that kind of boy. You cannot imagine how kind and gentle he is until you meet him in person. “

After abandoning terrestrial-based airways, Mac then hosted a show on XM satellite radio for another decade before leaving in 2011.

Bill at home


The dallas morning news

Bill Mack, aka The Midnight Cowboy, appears at his home in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, Feb. 16, 1997, with a performance of gold-recorded songs he has written for popular country and western singers. .

Mac’s country music songs were recorded by more than five dozen artists in 1996 with the Academy of Country Music for Best Country Song and Song of the Year Award, and the Best Award Song of the Year Award from Country Radio Music Awards for Blue .

The same song also won 13-year-old Lianne Rheims her first Grammy for recording the song.

One of Mack’s hits, Drinking Champagne, was a hit for singer Cal Smith in the 1960s and George Strait in 1990. The other popular rendition of the song by Dean Martin and Willie Nelson was played live and can be seen on YouTube.

Mac was named to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999 and is a participant in the Texas Heritage Song Writers Association. For his radio career, Mac was inducted into the Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame in 1982.

Bill at home


Brad Lauper / The Dallas Morning News

Lyric writer and WBAP DJ Bill Mack with his Grammy and American Country Music Awards on Wednesday in the living room of his East Fort Worth home.

Mac will also perform every concert at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth.

Billy Bob’s, Pam Minnick said, “I’m pretty sure if you saw Bill Mack’s picture in ‘Country Music’,”. He is indeed a walking encyclopedia. Most importantly, I consider him a very good friend. And Gosh Bill Mack, you are country music and you will be missed. “

Harley stated that he had lost family members to COVID-19 and was sad that they could not come together for Mac.

“I know it’s hard when you can’t come together as a group, and that’s going to be a big group for Bill. I’m telling you right now, this will fill many, many, many churches and It is very difficult to know that his friends will not be able to go there for many that he was all over, “he said.” Until we can show our condolences to the person we are here and we do so And will pay tribute to him for a long time. “

Funeral plans have not yet been announced, but the family said they will hold a service to celebrate their lives when it is safe to put people together in the same room.

Mac is survived by his wife Cindy, son Billy and two daughters Misty and Sunni. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Debbie.

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