Passings: Sir Mack Rice of the Falcons, Writer of "Mustang Sally" & "Respect Yourself" (1933 - 2016)

by VVN Music

Bonny "Mack" Rice, also known as Sir Mack Rice, died on Monday in Detroit from complications of Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 82. Rice was a member of the doo-wop group the Falcons along with a well-known songwriter.

Rice was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi and, as a teen, was mentored by a young Ike Turner. In 1950, his family moved to Detroit where he later joined the group the Five Scalders.

In 1957, he became a member of the vocal group The Falcons along with lead singer Joe Stubb, Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd, Mack Rice and Lance Finney. The group had their first major hit with You're So Fine (1959 / #2 R&B / #17 Pop), recorded for the Flick label but picked up by United Artists.

The followed with two more hits, Just For Your Love (1959 / #26 R&B) and The Teacher (1960 / #18) before Stubbs left and Pickett took over on lead vocals. They scored again two years later with I Found a Love (1962 / #6 R&B / #75 Pop) before the original members of the band were replaced by the members of The Fabulous Playboys.

Rice and Floyd continued as a duo for a couple of years but, when Eddie pursued a solo career, Rice became primarily a songwriter for Stax artists. His first had a hit with his song Mustang Sally but saw that he could make money purely as a writer after seeing the Rascals cover the song as the b-side of their hit Good Lovin' followed by Wilson Pickett making it a pop hit.

Rice's biggest hits:
  • Mustang Sally - Mack Rice (1965 / #15 R&B / #108 Pop)
  • Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett (1966 / #6 R&B / #23 Pop)
  • The Breakdown (Part 1) - Rufus Thomas (1971 / #2 R&B / #31 Pop)
  • Respect Yourself - Staple Singers (1971 / #2 R&B / #12 Pop)
  • Do the Funky Penguin - Rufus Thomas (1971 / #11 R&B / #44 Pop)
  • Cheaper to Keep Her - Johnnie Taylor (1973 / #2 R&B / #15 Pop)
  • My Main Man - Staple Singers (1974 / #18 R&B / #76 Pop)
  • Respect Yourself - Bruce Willis (1987 / #5 Pop / #22 Adult Contemporary / #20 R&B / #7 U.K.)
  • What's Up With That - ZZ Top (1996 / #5 Rock)
Later in his life, Rice put together a new band, playing at Detroit area clubs and festivals. 



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