Mac McAnally is one of the newest inductees into the Alabama Music Hall Of Fame. The ceremony was held Saturday night (Feb. 3) in Florence, Alabama, and McAnally was recognized for his contributions as a composer, performer and master of multiple instruments, along with folk artist Odetta, songwriter Walt Aldridge and session ace Eddie Hinton, who were also honored at the event as new AMHoF members.
The ceremony was taped for broadcast in the spring by Alabama Public Television, and included two live performances by McAnally with an all-star Muscle Shoals house band. The honor is the latest in a string of accolades for the talented singer/songwriter, who is already a member of the Mississippi Musicians Hall Of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
“Mac is authenticity personified,” Alabama Music Hall of Fame Board of Director member Judy Hood noted. “He’s as good as it gets personally and professionally. He is a treasure and it’s about time we threw a party to celebrate him.”
“The particular music community that is Muscle Shoals is one of the blessings of my life,” says McAnally, referencing his extensive history of recording and producing at Alabama’s famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. “To sit at the feet of (producer) Rick Hall, (producer) Terry Woodford and (producer) Clayton Ivey, all the players I got to work with, changed the course of my life in a big way. So to get this award, and for it to happen there, is really a big deal. I’m truly grateful for everything that’s transpired there.”
After quitting high school in eleventh grade, McAnally became an in-demand session player in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. At age 20, he released his first album, which included the Top 40 pop hit “It’s A Crazy World.” He eventually gravitated to a behind-the-scenes role as a producer, session musician and songwriter. As a producer, McAnally has worked with Jimmy Buffett, Ricky Skaggs, Restless Heart and Sawyer Brown, among others. As a session guitarist, pianist and backing vocalist, he has worked with Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Amy Grant, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Jimmy Buffett. McAnally has been a touring member of Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band since 1998.
Hits from McAnally’s extensive catalog include “It’s My Job” and “Coast of Carolina” (both recorded by Jimmy Buffett), “All These Years,” “Thank God For You” and “This Time” (all recorded by Sawyer Brown), “Two Dozen Roses” (recorded by Shenandoah), “Old Flame” (recorded by Alabama) and “Down The Road” (recorded by Kenny Chesney as a duet with McAnally).
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