Lonnie Mack Dead: Guitarist And Vocalist Who Pioneered Blues Rock Dies At 74

Xander Deccio

Lonnie Mack, known to many as one of the greatest blues rock musicians, has died at the age of 74. The news of Mac's death was confirmed via a press release from his record label, Alligator Records.

"Groundbreaking guitarist and vocalist Lonnie Mack, known as one of rock's first true guitar heroes, died on April 21, 2016 of natural causes at Centennial Medical Center near his home in Smithville, Tennessee. His early instrumental recordings – among them Wham! and Memphis -- influenced many of rock's greatest players, including Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and especially Stevie Ray Vaughan."

— The Doors (@TheDoors) April 22, 2016

Fraternity Records would later cease operations, putting many of Lonnie Mack's records out of print. This didn't stop Mack as he continued to tour for many years, until a Rolling Stone review of The Wham of That Memphis Man in 1968 led to a career resurgence. This led to Mack accepting high-profile gigs at the Fillmore East and West, and a deal with Elektra Records. Mack would later contribute his talents playing Bass guitar on The Doors singles "Roadhouse Blues" and "Maggie M'Gill" off of their album Morrison Hotel.

— Living Colour (@LivingColour) April 22, 2016

"The songs that he did were just so incredible to me. I would try to mimic all the notes he would play on his guitar," Collins said. "His records, I knew everyone of them. I couldn't wait for them to come out… When certain guitar players like Lonnie Mack would come out, the guitar players of that day would see who could play it the best."

Mack was later inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the International Guitar Hall of Fame.

[Header Photo by Alligator Records]