Above photo: Mack Allen Smith, November 1956 at the 51 Club in Durant, Mississippi
Posted November, 2016) - Mack Allen Smith's "Rockabilly Addict" CD
From MACK ALLEN SMITH: (September 2009) "I have been cancer free since finishing chemo treatments in March, 2001. Thank you to everyone who lifted me up in prayer."
DECEMBER 1, 2006
Six old members of "Mack Allen Smith and the Flames" got together
12/1/06 at the Community House in Carrollton, Mississippi for some
rockabilly pickin', singin' and a lot of reminiscing.
Pictured left to right are:
Laney O'Briant - lead guitar ('50s, '70s & '80s);
Sanford Horton - bass ('70s);
Mack Allen Smith -lead singer ('50s, '60s, '70s & '80s);
Buddy Millett - drums ('60s);
Murray Morrman - lead guitar ('60s & '70s);
Barry Smith - bass )'60s & '70s)
Update October, 2004
MACK ALLEN SMITH'S BOOK, "Looking Back One Last Time: A Memoir" was written in 2001 and is available now. "This is a true story about real people and real places that have caused my memory bank to be filled with really special and precious memories that linger." -Mack Allen Smith. To obtain your copy, write directly to: Mack Allen Smith, 814 W. Claiborne Ave., Greenwood, MS 38930. Phone 662-455-4061. The price is $25, plus $3 for packaging and postage.
Book: "HONKY TONK ADDICT" by Mack Allen Smith
Click to view The Mack Allen Smith Discography
The Mack Allen Smith Photo Page
BIOGRAPHYMACK ALLEN SMITH
Mack Allen Smith was born in Carroll County, Mississippi, on October 20, 1938. He is the son of Malcolm Alonzo Smith and Fannie Mae (Herbert) Smith. Mack Allen has a younger brother, Herbert Barry Smith, who was born on January 25, 1940. Years later Barry played bass in Mack Allen's band, "The Flames." The place of Mack Allen's birth and childhood years through the second grade were spent in a general area known as "Little Texas," which is out in the country about 10 miles from North Carrollton, Mississippi. They lived with Mack Allen's grandparents (Lum and Sally Herbert) in an old log house about two miles from Hickory Grove Baptist Church. The specific location is known as the Hickory Grove Community of Little Texas. As with many singers, some of Mack Allen's first singing was in church. Each Sunday would find the Smith family at Hickory Grove Baptist Church.
Mack Allen attended grammar school in Carrollton his first two years, then moved to Camp McCain at Elliott, Mississippi, where his father was in charge of the sheet metal department of the German Prison Camp. While at Camp McCain, Mack Allen attended the third grade in Grenada, Mississippi. His brother, Barry, was in the first grade at Grenada. After Mack Allen completed the third grade, the Smith family moved to Carrollton, Mississippi, where Mack Allen's parents opened a grocery store. Mack Allen returned to grammar school in Carrollton in the fourth grade. They had living quarters in the grocery store until Mack Allen was in the 8th grade, when his father purchased an old two-story house on the banks of Big Sand Creek between Carrollton and North Carrollton. The old house, which was the Smith residence for over 40 years, is on the Carrollton side of Big Sand Creek. Mack Allen graduated from J. Z. George High School in North Carrollton, Mississippi, in 1956.
Mack Allen was exposed to country and blues music at an early age, and this exposure provided the foundation for his unique style which in later years was defined as the "Delta Sound." Mack Allen's early exposure to country music came from his mother and her family (the Herberts). Mack Allen's mother, Fannie Mae, played guitar and sang old Jimmie Rodger's songs, while her brothers, Jimmy and Archie Herbert, both played guitar, fiddle, and bull bass and sang all the country songs that were popular at the time.
1959. Community House, Carrollton, Mississippi. Mack Allen Smith (lead singer). Then, left to right: David Lee Cox (piano), Laney O'Briant (lead guitar). Durwood Herbert (drums), Keith Worrell (lead guitar) and Red McGregor (rhythm guitar).
Most Saturday nights would find the Herbert's playing for country dances, which were at Lum and Sally Herbert's house. Lum and Sally were the parents of Fannie Mae, Jimmy, and Archie, and the grandparents of Mack Allen. Before Mack Allen even started to school, he remembers sitting in one corner of the living room of his grandparent's old log house on Saturday nights listening to the Herbert's play country music while everyone else danced.
Mack Allen was also exposed to blues music before he started school, but this exposure occurred in North Carrollton, Mississippi. North Carrollton is on the North side of Big Sand Creek and Carrollton is on the South side. The population of Carrollton and North Carrollton combined was somewhere around 800, and each Saturday, Mack Allen's mother and father would bring him and his brother, Barry, to this great Metropolis for a day of shopping and good old city fun.
On one side of the railroad tracks in North Carrollton, you could hear country and western music coming from the cafes where the white folks were drinking beer. On the other side of the railroad tracks, you could hear rhythm and blues music coming from the cafes where the Black people were drinking beer. Back then, Mack Allen figured the whites and blacks went to different cafes because they just liked different kinds of music. Personally, Mack Allen always liked the blues music better than he did the country music.
In 1954, while in high school, Mack Allen became lead singer in his first band (The J. Z. George FFA Band). This band consisted of Mack Allen Smith (lead singer), Charles Martin (lead guitar), Alton Alderman (rhythm guitar and harmony vocals), Sidney Nabors (rhythm guitar and harmony vocals), Junior Bailey (harmony vocals), and Clovis Harbin (bass tub). The J. Z. George FFA Band won the State FFA Band Championship contest two years in a row (school years 1954-55 and 1955-56).
1962. Front row, left to right: Arthur Browning (lead guitar), Hardin Browning (piano), Buddy Millett (drums). Back row, left to right: Barry Smith (bass), Mack Allen Smith (lead singer), Red McGregor (rhythm guitar), Mack Allen Smith & The Flames - showing off first Vee Eight Recording "I Got My Mo Jo Working" and "I'm a Lover."
After graduating from high school in 1956, Mack Allen joined the Kenny Minyard band as lead singer and performed with this band at the VFW in Greenwood, Mississippi, until September 1956, when he left for college at Holmes Junior College in Goodman, Mississippi. The Kenny Minyard band was a traditional country or hillbilly band, but Mack Allen was hired to do the Elvis and other Rock-a-billy stuff that was sweeping the country at that time.
Just prior to leaving for college, Mack Allen formed a band called The Carroll Country Rock & Roll Boys which consisted of Mack Allen Smith (lead singer and rhythm guitar), Ellis Hopper (lead guitar), and Billy Wayne Herbert (rhythm guitar). After entering college at Holmes Junior College in September 1956, Mack Allen hired Charlie McCarty from Kosciusko, Mississippi, to play drums, and Eddie Lee Alderman from Carroll County to play lead guitar. Mack Allen then changed the name of the band to Mack Allen Smith and the Flames. They performed on weekends at the 51 Club in Durant, Mississippi, and the VFW in Kosciusko and Greenwood, Mississippi.
In January 1957, Mack Allen joined the Marines and left for a two-year tour of duty in California. After three months of boot camp at San Diego, Mack Allen was transferred to Camp Pendleton at Ocean Side, California, where he was stationed until completion of his tour of duty in January 1959. While in the Marines, Mack Allen sang some weekends at the USO Club in Ocean Side, California. He also sang with a Black band at the Figure-Eight Club in Los Angeles.
In January 1959, Mack Allen returned to Carrollton, Mississippi, and immediately re-formed Mack Allen Smith and the Flames. This group was comprised of: Mack Allen Smith (lead singer), Keith Worrell (lead guitar), Red McGregor (rhythm guitar), David Lee Cox (piano), and Durwood Herbert (drums). Later, in 1959, Laney O'Briant was hired to play lead guitar, which gave the Flames two lead guitars for a while. Mack Allen Smith and the Flames recorded three songs (Kansas City, Mean Woman Blues, and Sandy Lee) for producer Ernie Barton at Sun Records in 1959; however, Mr. Barton left Sun Records shortly thereafter to form Barton Records in Little Rock, Arkansas. Efforts were made to recover the 1959 Sun recordings, but, to date, they have not been found.
After re-forming the band in January 1959, Mack Allen Smith and the Flames performed for 25 more years (until October 1984) throughout Mississippi and surrounding states. Mack Allen owned his own nightclub (Mack Allen Smith's Town & Country Night Club) in Greenwood, Mississippi, for five years (1971-1976), and the Flames performed mostly at clubs throughout the Mississippi Delta during his performing career.
Mack Allen has had a number of singles and albums released overseas, and in 1979, was booked by Martin Hawkins on a two-week tour of England. Overseas releases have been on the following record labels: Redneck, Checkmate, Charly, Redita, and Country Groove.
Record releases in the United States have been on the following labels: Vee Eight, Statue, Mariteen, Jab (a subsidiary of Atlantic), Cynthia, Younger, Delta Sound, Ace, Grape, Cindy Boo, and QMC.
During his career Mack Allen Smith has recorded over 150 songs at various studios in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Many of these studio recordings have not been released; however, Mack Allen is hoping for a contract overseas that will result in a CD box set of all his studio recordings.
In addition to his studio recordings, Mack Allen has a number of live recordings that were made at nightclub performances. One of the live performances that is considered worthy of CD is "Mack Allen Smith - Live on Halloween" which was recorded at the Country Music Palace in Vaiden, Mississippi, on October 31, 1981. This Halloween recording consists of 38 songs and a great performance by Mack Allen Smith.
Mack Allen completed a novel in 1993 entitled Honky-Tonk Addict. The novel was published in 1996 by Colonial Press of Birmingham, Alabama. This excellent work of fiction, which was inspired by the author's life, will be remembered as one of the best books to ever emerge from the Mississippi Delta. In addition to Honky-Tonk Addict, Mack Allen has written five children's stories and over 100 songs.
Mack Allen and his wife of 40 years, Lois Bennett Smith, live in Greenwood, Mississippi, where he is currently writing songs, tracing his family roots, and working on his second novel. Mack Allen and Lois have two children: Cynthia Alan (Smith) Blackburn (born January 29, 1961) and Mack Allen Smith, Jr. (born March 11, 1967). They also have two grandchildren: Stephanie Karen Blackburn (born June 28, 1980) and Jerry Dale Blackburn, III (born April 24, 1983).
On July 18, 2000, Mack Allen Smith had surgery for colon cancer, and on August 4, 2000, started chemotherapy treatments which are to be administered once each week for six months. Mack Allen and his family ask you to remember him in your prayers.
1972. At Town & Country Night Club, Greenwwod, Mississippi. Left to right: Jessie Yates (keyboards), Lawrence Stacy (drums), Mack Allen Smith (lead singer), Murray Moorman (lead guitar) and Barry Smith (bass).
1975. Left to right - Sanford Horton (bass), Mack Allen Smith (lead singer), and Laney O'Briant (lead guitar). At Mack Allen Smith's Town & Country Night Club in Greenwood, MS on a Saturday night.
07/31/00 Mack Allen Smith at home in Greenwood, Mississippi, two weeks after surgery for colon cancer.