Mac McAnally

Induction Year: 2007

Birth Name: Lyman Corbitt McAnally Jr.

Birth Date: 07-15-1957

Place of Birth: Red Bay, Alabama

If the story of country music is one of Saturday night colliding with Sunday morning, then Mac McAnally cut his teeth right at the crossroads.

A guitar and piano prodigy, McAnally turned professional at age 13. On Saturday nights, he would play honky-tonk tunes until the wee hours in the clubs along the Mississippi-Tennessee state line, then head straight for church and do a second set of sacred music.

After quitting school in the eleventh grade, McAnally became an in-demand session player in the southern R&B capitol of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. In 1977, at the age of 20, he had his first album released, which included the Top 40 pop hit "It's a Crazy World." It was not exactly a foreshadowing of things to come. Though he would go on to record 11 more albums into the next century, and he placed a few minor hits on the pop and country charts, stardom eluded him. As McAnally has said, "I was born without the ambition to be the guy in the middle of the stage."

Eventually, he gravitated to key behind-the-scenes roles where he has been right at home: producer, session musician, 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's won the CMA Musician of the Year Award five times as of 2012),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 and a contributing songwriter on Buffett tunes like "It's My Job" and "Coast of Carolina."

Songwriting has been a major occupation. Early in his career, McAnally says, "I never tried to write songs, they just fell out. But then I started to work at it a bit." As he perfected his style of dry-rubbed Southern-wit-meets-emotional-honesty, many artists started delving into his songbook. Along with #1 hits such as "Old Flame" by Alabama and "Down the Road" by Kenny Chesney (a duet with McAnally), his songs have been recorded by Reba McEntire, Ricky Van Shelton, Charley Pride, Randy Travis and others.

Today, McAnally lives and works in Nashville, and also owns and operates a recording studio in Muscle Shoals. Aside from his place in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, McAnally is a member of the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame.

"All These Years"

Sawyer Brown1992 #3 country

"Back Where I Come From"

Mac McAnally1990 #14 country
Kenny Chesney1996 
 

"Boys and Me"

(written with Mark Miller)

Sawyer Brown1993 #3 country
 

"Café on the Corner"

Sawyer Brown1992 #5 country
 

"Crime of Passion"

(written with Walt Aldridge)

Ricky Van Shelton1987 #7 country

"Down the Road"

Mac McAnally1990 #70 country
Restless Heart2004 
Kenny Chesney & Mac McAnally2008 #1 country
 

"I'm Gonna Hurt Her on the Radio"

(written with Tom Brasfield)

David Allen Coe1985 #52
Shenandoah1987 
Keith Perry1999 
 

"I'm Gonna Love Her on the Radio"

(written with Tom Brasfield)

Charley Pride1988 #13 country
 

"It's My Job"

Jimmy Buffett1981 #57 pop
Livingston Taylor1991 
Michael Johnson2000 

"It's a Crazy World"

Mac McAnally1977 #37 pop
 

"Minimum Love"

(written with Jerry Wexler)

Mac McAnally1983 #7 adult contemporary, #41 pop

"Old Flame"

(written with Donny Lowery)

Alabama1981 #1 country
 

"One Owner Heart"

(written with Walt Aldridge, Tom Brasfield)

T. G. Sheppard1984 #4 country
 

"Opinion on Love"

Mac McAnally1978 #47 adult contemporary
Lee Greenwood1988 
 

"Precious Thing"

(written with Steve Wariner)

Steve Wariner1990 #8 country
 

"She Put the Sad in All His Songs"

(written with Robert Byrne)

Michael Johnson1979 
Alabama1983 
T. G. Sheppard1983 
Ronnie Dunn1984 #59 country
 

"Thank God for You"

(written with Mark Miller)

Sawyer Brown1993 #1 country
 

"This Time"

(written with Mark Miller)

Sawyer Brown1994 #2 country
 

"Two Dozen Roses"

(written with Robert Byrne)

Shenandoah1989 #1 country
 

"You're My First Lady"

T. G. Sheppard1987 #2 country

Mac McAnally

Induction Year: 2007