Wednesday, June 12, 2024

RIP R&B Great “Sir” Mack Rice, 82, Co-wrote “Respect Yourself” and “Mustang Sally”


Sir Mack Rice died today in Detroit. He was 82 and an important part of R&B history.

Sir Mack was a gentle giant of R&B and a genius songwriter. He was an original member of the Falcons with Wilson Pickett and Eddie Floyd. He co-wrote “Respect Yourself,” a giant hit for the Staples Singer, with R&B star Luther Ingram. He wrote “Mustang Sally,” which Wilson had a huge hit on. Aretha Franklin played piano on the original demo. He went on to become a central figure in Memphis and Stax lore.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mack Rice several times. He appeared in my movie “Only the Strong Survive.” We had a birthday party for William Bell in Memphis. Mack and producer Jon Tiven came up with an impromptu birthday song. It’s on the DVD. Mack was a sweetheart. Jon went on to make an album with him called “This What I Do.”

So many great musicians have died already in 2016. They will all be missed. Mack Rice was special.


Respect Yourself demo sung by Luther Ingram

Mustang Sally demo sung by Sir Mack Rice

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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