One of the greatest persons to ever appear on the trucking community and trucking radio, Bill Mack, has passed away on July 31, 2020.
Mack was 88 years old and passed away due to COVID-19 complications.
His son, Billy Mack Smith, shared on his Facebook profile the following:
“I’m deeply saddened to tell you that my Dad passed away early this morning due to COVID-19 with underlying conditions. He was an amazing father, grandfather, great grandfather and husband to my mom. I’m blessed to have had not only a great dad but my best friend as well. He truly will be missed. God bless.”
Many new truckers have never heard the name. But for many truckers of the older generations, Mack was not only a DJ on the radio. He was a friend on the long, lonely trips since 1969.
The legend of Bill Mack began in 1969 at WBAP, a radio station out of Fort Worth, Texas. He hosted an overnight country music show and it quickly became the go-to station of long-distance drivers during their nighttime trips.
The success of Mack was so great, that many a trucker frequently stopped to phone booths (this was the time of no cell phones mind you,) just to call in and chat with Mack. It is argued that Mack got his pseudonym “Midnight Cowboy” from such a truck driver.
Throughout his life, Mack hosted a number of shows, including “The Country Roads Show,” the “U.S. 1 Trucking Show”, and the “Midnight Cowboy Trucking Show.”
Mack also penned a lot of songs, one of which is Grammy-winning “Blue” performed by LeeAnn Rimes in ‘96.
“This was the sound that drivers listened for every night. Once it began, everyone of us knew we had a companion in the “Midnight Cowboy”, to ride along and keep us company, as we drove through the night. Thank you #BillMack, sharing the ride. R.I.P.” – said one fan of Mack on Twitter.
“#BillMack Bill Mack RIP heard you over the airwaves for years and years,Mann you were loved and always a joy that kept us Truckers down the roads and best all night radio THXS we will always remember your voice #Trucking #Truckparking” were the words of another fan.”
“Sad to report the passing of legendary Grammy Award Winning Country Music Disc Jockey Bill Mack at age 91. I listened to Bill Mack late at night in the 60’s and learned how to become a DJ from him. My grandfather introduced me to Bill in 1967 when he was the house announcer at Panther Hall Dance Hall in Ft. Worth, the same night I met George Jones. Bill Mack is best known as the host of WBAP’s Midnight Cowboy Trucking Show. The radio icon wrote “Drinking Champagne” made famous by George Strait and “Blue” made famous by LeAnn Rimes. Bill was also on XM Satellite Radio and Co-hosted the Sunday gospel show Country Crossroads with comedian Jerry Clower. As a baby, we lived next door to him in Wichita Falls, TX where he hosted his own show “Big Six Jamboree”. This was his big break and the rest is history. The passing of Bill Mack is another great loss for Country Music. #RIP #MidnightCowboy #DrinkingChampagne #LostAnotherGreatOne”
A lot of famous celebrities went on their social media profiles to say goodbye to the ‘Midnight Cowboy.’
“Farewell to my friend the great Bill Mack. As a DJ, Bill had a really unique sound, and I always appreciated his spinning my records on the air. My condolences to Bill’s family. We’ll miss you, Midnight Cowboy! –Love, Jody ✝️🕊” #JodyMillerOfficial #RIP #billmack #MidnightCowboy #ruidosodowns”, wrote Jody Miller.