Bill Mack, whose Midnight Cowboy Trucking Show overnight program on Texas clear channel WBAP-AM entertained truckers for decades, died July 31 at age 88, according to published reports.
In a Facebook message, Mack’s son Billy Mack Smith said his father died of COVID-19 but had underlying health conditions.
Mack’s longtime overnight trucking show earned him a place in the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame. He often broadcast live from the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
He also wrote the song “Blue,” which became a hit for LeAnn Rimes and won a 1996 Grammy Award for Country Music Song of the Year. He also wrote “Drinking Champagne,” a song covered by George Strait, Dean Martin and Willie Nelson.
Mack’s son spoke with NBC 5 Friday afternoon and said his father had been suffering from dementia and living in a memory care facility when he was diagnosed with the virus.
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. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Bub4Q2C02n
— Billy Mack (@BillyMackRadio) July 31, 2020
Mack first hit the airwaves in Fort Worth in 1969 as a disc jockey on WBAP 820-AM with the Country Roads Show and played music for overnight truckers. The show was later renamed the Midnight Cowboy Trucking Show and could be heard over much of the United States.
After leaving WBAP, Mack hosted a show on XM satellite radio for another decade before leaving in 2011.
WBAP still runs an overnight show under the name Red Eye Radio. Current host Eric Harley said on Twitter that he was, “Deeply saddened by the passing of long-time friend and former radio partner Bill Mack. A legend. In 1969, he founded the all-night show on WBAP that eventually became Red Eye Radio. My love and prayers are with Cindy, Billy and family. Rest in peace, brother.”
You can listen to Hal Jay and Eric Harley reminisce about Bill Mack on WBAP.
Mack is survived by his wife Cindy, son Billy and two daughters Misty and Sunnie. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Debbie.