Lonnie Mack


Cincinnati, 1956 - present

Lonnie grew up in a couple different cities in the Tri-state area where Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky meet. He moved to Cincinnati and began a long career as a recording artist and session player. 

In 1963 he had two big hit records, "Memphis" and "Wham", both recorded in Cincinnati using the Fraternity records resouces, as he had been doing sessions for the label.

The Lonnie Mack sound of the Flying V guitar and the vibrato bar - forever known as the 'whammy' bar in honor of his big hit "Wham" - was hugely influential in SW Ohio and became famous all over the world. Along with fellow SW Ohioan Robert Ward they popularized the Magantone amp.

In mid 1960s he recorded some vocal R&B songs using talent such as the Charmaines on backing vocals. These records didn;t fare as well as his two big instrumental hits "Memphis" and "Wham". 

The late 1960s birth of the blues rock sound brought a little revivial to Mack's career and he was signed to the eclectic Elektra label, home of the Doors, Love, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, etc, where he released three LPs in three years.

The late 1970s saw him move toward a country/bluegrass sound where he recorded a couple LPs for Capitol. He returned to his original sound in the 1980s, thanks in some part to Stevie Ray Vaughn, who was a long time admirer. 

There are numerous online and book sources to get a detailed overview of Lonnie's career.