Mac Wiseman

In October 2014, Mac Wiseman will enter the Country Music Hall of Fame. Known to fans as “The Voice with a Heart,” Wiseman has recorded more than 60 albums. He was a founding member of Flatt & Scruggs’ band and a lead vocalist for Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. He helped found the Country Music Association. His new album is Songs from My Mother’s Hand, available September 23 on Wrinkled Records.



Mac Wiseman (Malcolm B. Wiseman, May 23, 1925 – February 24, 2019) was an American bluegrass singer, guitarist and songwriter. Born in Crimora, Virginia, he attended school in New Hope Virginia and graduated from high school there in 1943. He studied at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Dayton, Virginia, before it moved to Winchester, Virginia in 1960, and started his career as a disc jockey at WSVA-AM in Harrisonburg, Virginia. His musical career began as upright bass player in the band of country singer Molly O'Day. When Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs left Bill Monroe's band, Wiseman became the guitarist for their new band, the Foggy Mountain Boys. Later he played with Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. After a performance on Louisiana Hayride he became popular as solo artist. In the 1950s, he was the star of The Old Dominion Barn Dance on WRVA in Richmond, Va. During the folk revival in the 1960s, Wiseman had successful concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall. He joined producers Randall Franks and Alan Autry for the In the Heat of the Night cast CD Christmas Time’s A Comin’ released on Sonlite and MGM/UA for one of the most popular Christmas releases of 1991 and 1992 with Southern retailers. In 2014, he released an album of songs inspired by his mother's handwritten notebooks of songs she heard on the radio when Mac was a child: Songs From My Mother's Hand. In 1993 he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor. His substantial girth and light tenor voice gave rise to the quip that "Mac Wiseman sings like Gene Vincent looks, and looks like Ernest Tubb sings". Wiseman was a recipient of a 2008 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. In 2014 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Discography Albums Year Title Label Number Notes 1957 Tis Sweet To Be Remembered Dot DLP-3084/25084 Dot mono = 3xxx, stereo = 25xxx 1959 Beside The Still Waters Dot DLP-3135/25135 1959 Great Folk Ballads Dot DLP-3213/25213 1960 Sings 12 Great Hits Dot DLP-3313/25313 1960 Keep On The Sunny Side Dot DLP-3336/25336 1961 Best Loved Gospel Hymns Dot DLP-3373/25373 1961 Fireball Mail Dot DLP-3408/25408 1962 Bluegrass Favorites Capitol T-1800/ST-1800 1965 At the Toronto Horseshoe Club Wise LP-228 1966 Sincerely Hamilton HLP-130 1966 This Is Mac Wiseman Dot DLP-3697/25697 1966 A Master At Work Dot DLP-3730/25730 1966 Bluegrass Dot DLP-3731/25731 with the Osborne Brothers 1966 Songs Of The Dear Old Days Hamilton HLP-167/1267 1966 Sings Old Time Country Favorites Rural Rhythm RRMW-158 1967 Mac Wiseman Hilltop JM/JS-6047 1970 Sings Johnny's Cash & Charley's Pride RCA Victor LSP-4336 1971 Lester 'N' Mac RCA Victor LSP-4547 with Lester Flatt 1972 On The Southbound RCA Victor LSP-4688 with Lester Flatt 1973 Singing Country Favorites Rural Rhythm RRMW-258 reissue of RRMW-158 1973 Over The Hills To The Poorhouse RCA Victor APL1-0309 with Lester Flatt 1973 Concert Favorites RCA Victor LSP-4845 1976 Country Music Memories CMH 6202 1976 New Traditions Volume 1 Vetco LP-508 with the Shenandoah Cut-Ups 1977 New Traditions Volume 2 Vetco LP-509 with the Shenandoah Cut-Ups 1977 Sings Gordon Lightfoot CMH 6217 1979 The Essential Bluegrass Album CMH 9016 with the Osborne Brothers 1980 Songs That Made The Jukebox Play CMH 9021 1982 Mac and Chubby Live at Gilley's Gilley's MG-5006 with Chubby Wise 1982 The Clayton McMichen Story CMH 9028 with Merle Travis 1982 Live In Concert Country Road CR-01 1982 Grassroots To Bluegrass CMH 9041 1984 If Teardrops Were Pennies 51 West Q-16280 1986 Mac Wiseman Dot 39086 1993 Teenage Hangout Bear Family BCD-15694 (Germany) 1994 Number One Christmas Power Pak 10511 1998 Del Doc & Mac Sugar Hill SHCD-3888 with Doc Watson and Del McCoury 2000 3 Tenors of Bluegrass CMH 8530 with Bobby Osborne and Jim Silvers 2001 Letter Edged in Black Music Mill 50101 also Wise 101 2001 Just Because Music Mill 50102 also Wise 102 2001 Maple on the Hill Music Mill 50106 also Wise 106 2001 Shares Precious Memories Music Mill 50108 with Brother Oswald, also Wise 108 2001 First Recorded Live Concert Music Mill 50109 also Wise 109 2003 The Lost Album Music Mill 70038 unreleased 1964 Capitol sessions 2005 15 of My Grandma's Favorites Music Mill 50110 also Wise 110 2005 15 of My Gospel Favorites Music Mill 50111 also Wise 111 2007 Standard Songs For Average People Oh Boy OBR-038 duets with John Prine 2008 Old Likker in a New Jug Wise 113 2008 Waiting for the Boys to Come Home Wise 114 2008 Bluegrass Tradition Gusto GT7-0825 2014 Songs From My Mother's Hand Wrinkled Records WR-8336 Inspired by his mother's handwritten notebooks of popular songs from his childhood 2017 I Sang the Songs Mountain Fever Songs based on stories related in Wiseman’s recent autobiography Compilations Year Title Label Number Notes 1964 Sincerely, Mac Wiseman Hamilton HLP-130/12130 1968 Golden Hits of Mac Wiseman Dot DLP-3896/25896 1974 16 Great Performances ABC ABDP-4009 1976 The Mac Wiseman Story CMH CMH-9001 1979 Golden Classics Gusto GT-0049 1982 Bluegrass Gold - Greatest Bluegrass Hits CMH CMH-4502 reissue + "In the Pines" 1981 Early Dot Recordings Volume 1 County CCS-108 reissue + "When The Roses Bloom Again" 1982 Early Dot Recordings Volume 2 County CCS-109 reissue + "Paradise Valley" + "How Can You Forget So Soon" 1982 Bluegrass Special Koala A14541 Dot reissue 1986 24 Great Hits De Luxe DLX-7790 1989 Classic Bluegrass Rebel REB-CD-1106 1992 Early Dot Recordings Volume 3 County CCS-113 also MCA MSD-35153 1992 Rare Singles And Radio Transcriptions Cowgirlboy LP-5067 (Germany) 1997 20 Old Time Country Favorites Rural Rhythm Records RHYCD-258 reissue of RRMW-258 2001 Mac Wiseman Sings The Gospel, Vol. 1 Music Mill 50103 also Wise 103 2001 Mac Wiseman Sings The Gospel, Vol. 2 Music Mill 50104 also Wise 104 2001 At the Toronto Horseshoe Club Music Mill 50105 also Wise 105 2001 The Most Requested CMH CMH-8586 2002 The Heart Of A Legend Madacy 4446 2003 The Singles Music Mill 70037 2004 Tis Sweet To Be Remembered: Complete Recordings 1951-1964 Bear Family BCD-15976 (Germany) 6-CD set, Dot/Capitol reissue 2005 Precious Moments BCI 41142 2006 The Best Of Mac Wiseman – Essential Original Masters Rural Rhythm Records 312 Original Undubbed Mono Mixes of RRMW-158, plus several additional cuts taken from Mac Wiseman's personal archive. 2006 On Susan's Floor Bear Family BCD-16736 (Germany) 4-CD set, Dot, Rodeo/Wise, Rural Rhythm, and RCA Reissue 2009 Bluegrass Hits And Heart Songs Rebel CD-7523 Notable singles Year Single Chart Positions Album US Country CAN Country 1955 "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" 10 — Single only 1959 "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy" 5 — Great Folk Ballads 1963 "Your Best Friend and Me" 12 — Singles only 1968 "Got Leavin' On Her Mind" 54 — 1969 "Johnny's Cash and Charley's Pride" 38 30 Sings Johnny's Cash and Charley's Pride 1978 "Never Going Back Again" 78 — Singles only 1979 "My Blue Heaven" (with Woody Herman) 69 — "Scotch and Soda" 88 — "Shackles and Chains" (with Osborne Brothers) 95 — The Essential Bluegrass Album Guest singles Year Single Artist US Country Album 1990 "Tomorrow's World" Various artists 74 Single only Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.


Mac Wiseman Talks Lessons Learned from 70 Years in Country Music

By Mac Wiseman | October 4, 2014

Mac Wiseman Talks Lessons Learned from 70 Years in Country Music

After 70 years in music, the bluegrass legend offers priceless reminiscences and advice for aspiring musicians — or aspiring anybodies.