The country singer-songwriter Mac Davis, who died in Nashville this week at age 78, spent most of his life in Tennessee and Los Angeles—but he always loved his hometown of Lubbock. Of the hundreds of songs he wrote over his sixty-year career, his favorite was “Texas in My Rearview Mirror.” Released in 1980, the song captures a feeling that many young Texans can still relate to—a restless desire to leave behind a sleepy hometown and move to a big coastal city. The song was his favorite, Davis once told author and artist Christopher J. Oglesby, because it felt so true to his life. “It’s what I am and who I am,” he said, “and besides, it has a good rhyme scheme and melody.”
Remembering Lubbock-Born Country Musician Mac Davis
Morris Mac Davis was born in Lubbock on January 21, 1942. Although Davis left the Hub City after graduating from Lubbock High, he never forgot his West Texas roots throughout a long and varied career as songwriter, singer, movie and Broadway actor, and television personality. Music was an important presence in Davis’s life from the get-go. He started out singing in the church choir, and his father bought him a guitar when he was nine. As Davis recounted to Oglesby, “When I was a kid in Lubbock, I saw Buddy Holly driving down the street with a bunch of girls in his convertible. At the time he connected with Presley, Davis was already making a name for himself in Los Angeles as a songwriter. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Lou Rawls, Nancy Sinatra, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Bobby Goldsboro, Dolly Parton, B. J. Thomas, Ray Price, and Perry Como. And in recent years, he showed his range by collaborating with Swedish DJ Avicii and Bruno Mars. Davis’s hometown showed its appreciation as early as 1983 when he joined Buddy Holly and Waylon Jennings as the third inductee of the West Texas Walk of Fame. His other awards and accolades include membership in the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2006), Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (2000), Texas Country Music Hall of Fame (2004), Georgia Music Hall of Fame (1996), plus a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1998). The Academy of Country Music named him Entertainer of the Year in 1974.