Mac Wissman has occupied pride of place in the bluegrass arena for more than 70 of his 93 years. He was born on 23rd May, 1925, in Crimora, Virginia.
Mac Wiseman was part of the foundation of bluegrass and modern country music. He remained a valuable mentor and ambassador for both genres until his death this month 24th February.
Wiseman early hits included Jimmy Brown The Newsboy and ‘Tis Sweet To Be Remembered. While he went on to record over 200 or so projects.
His musical career began as upright bass player for country singer Molly O’Day’s Cumberland Mountain Folks. He later went on to play with Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys and with Bill Monroe’s band The Bluegrass Boys.
In 1951, Wiseman released his first solo single, Tis Sweet to Be Remembered. The success of this release was the beginning of his solo career.
Mac Wiseman was one of the founders of the Country Music Association (CMA). In 1986 he co-founded the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA).
Wiseman was often referred to by a radio personalities as The Voice with a Heart. Other songs he recorded and became noted for are Shackles and Chains, I’ll Be All Smiles Tonight, Jimmy Brown the Newsboy, and Love Letters in the Sand.
More recently, 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.
Mac Wiseman was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honour in 1993. He also received a 2008 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States’ highest honour in the folk and traditional arts. In 2014 he was inducted into the Veteran Era category of the Country Music Hall of Fame, which is given to an artist who achieved national prominence more than 45 years ago.