Guitarist and vocalist Lonnie Mack, known as one of rock’s first true guitar heroes—and a major influence on Stevie Ray Vaughan—died Thursday, April 21, of natural causes at Centennial Medical Center near his home in Smithville, Tennessee. He was 74.
His early instrumental recordings—including "Wham!" and "Memphis"—influenced many of rock's greatest players, including Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Keith Richards and Jimmy Page.
From his bio:
Lonnie was born in 1941 in Harrison, Indiana — some forty miles west of Cincinnati. Learning his first cords from his Mother at the ages of 5, Lonnie grew up playing bluegrass, country and gospel with his family and friends and listening to old radio stations which were playing black blues, jazz and gospel. Taking from all these influences he created his own personal style and when Rockabilly emerged to the music scene, Lonnie was already playing it!Mack began gigging all over Southern Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky after dropping out of school at age 13. Mack returned repeatedly to tour the tri-state area throughout his career.
Mack bought the seventh Gibson Flying V ever made and played that throughout his career. Fun fact: His use of the Flying V on massive hit "Wham" is how the "Whammy bar" got its name.
Lonnie Mack ... Rest in Peace. Today has been a very bad day for music. Guitar players especially. pic.twitter.com/Jg5PTzaLJJ— JOE BONAMASSA (@JBONAMASSA) April 22, 2016