by carl wilson

RIP "Big Daddy Mack" Mack Vickery: Caged Heat

mack.jpg

Nashville songwriter Mack Vickery died over the holidays (on Dec. 21) at 66. Author of some vintage hits such as The Fireman for George Strait and Rockin' My Life Away for Jerry Lee Lewis, Vickery was also a second-string Sun Records, sub-Elvis performer in his day - and the greatest legacy of that part of his career has to be this 1970 album cover, recalling Johnny Cash at Folsom or San Quentin - but with a shovelful more cayenne-flavoured cheesecake. (Is there a file baked inside it?) According to one news report, Vickery really did do the record at the women's prison:

"He went down and got buddy-buddy with the warden," said Vickery's long-time associate, songwriter Merle Kilgore. "It was a female warden. They had a few drinks together, and he talked her into letting him come down there. He came out onstage like Elvis shaking and them women went wild."

Wonder if that's where Nellie McKay got the idea?


Whether the women on the album cover actually were Alabama prisoners is a question I'll leave to your fetid imaginations.

(Visuals courtesy the guiltily pleasurable Show and Tell Music. See also the rather terrifying official Vickery site. A much sweeter tribute page contains samples of other Vickery-penned hits, including Tanya Tucker's The Jamestown Ferry and Johnny Paycheck's I'm the Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised. Shaun Mather offers a none-too-reverent appreciation at the "Rockabilly Hall of Fame.")

News | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, January 04 at 03:56 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

COMMENTS

Yes, the women on the cover of "Mack Vickery- Live at Alabama Womens Prison" album were actual prisoners. Mack Vickery was my dad. He was an amazing human being.

Posted by Shanda Kay Vickery on January 29, 2005 04:00 AM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson