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