Mac Davis, the country singer-songwriter who wrote several hits for Elvis Presley, has died following heart surgery, his manager Jim Morey confirmed. He was 78. “Mac Davis has been my client for over 40 years, and more importantly, my best friend,” Morey wrote. “He was a music legend, but his most important work was that as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. I will miss laughing about our many adventures on the road and his insightful sense of humor.”
Mac Davis was born in Lubbock, Texas, in 1942. After starting a band and recording a handful of solo material in the ’60s, he was hired as a staff songwriter for Nancy Sinatra’s publishing company. In 1968, Elvis Presley recorded his song “A Little Less Conversation,” which would become one of Davis’ most popular compositions. This kickstarted the Davis and Presley’s working relationship, which also found Presley recording Davis-penned songs such as “In the Ghetto,” “Memories,” and “Don’t Cry Daddy.”
Davis rose to prominence as a solo artist in the ’70s with hits such as “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me” and “I Believe in Music.” He also began working as an actor, appearing in films such as North Dallas Forty, television shows including Murder She Wrote, and the Broadway musical The Will Rogers Follies. Davis continued releasing music and working with other artists, notably co-writing the title track of Dolly Parton’s 1990 album White Limozeen. In 2010, Davis was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Over the past decade, Davis collaborated with Weezer on “Time Flies,” from their 2010 album Hurley. He also received writing credits on Avicii’s “Addicted to You” and Bruno Mars’ “Young Girls.” “[At] my age, I’m extremely grateful to be doing what I’m doing and still functioning in the music business,” Davis said in a 2017 interview. “You know, I get excited every time I get involved with somebody and write a song. It’s still a fun thing to do.”