It gives me great pride to feature my "Big Mac Band" (Ernie Vaughn, Ernie Lainhart, Chuck Rich and Willie Brown) on this CD. I can't say enough about them or thank them enough for always being there for me through the years. They are great musicians and great friends. Listen to them play "Buckaroo".
Among the many reasons this CD is very special to me is the opportunity to record some traditional country songs that were originally recorded by legendary Country singers, such as Hank Williams, Ray Price, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Paycheck and Mel Street. My admiration for greats like these and listening to the "Grand OLE Opry" on Saturday night, shaped my style, gave me inspiration, and developed my love for traditional Country Music. Hank Williams, who first inspired me, was the only voice I recognized at the age of four. It was at that age I won my first talent contest singing "Your Cheatin' Heart." Hank died shortly after that and I thought that was the end of music.
The highlight of recording this CD was when some of my family members came in the studio and sang with me on some songs. You can only imagine the thrill of having my 89 year old mother Doris Mackey in the studio to sing a few lines on the song, "I Never Once Stopped Lovin' You." She taught me to play a guitar, which was a Christmas gift from my oldest brother Darrell, when I was eight years old. As was my late father J.H.Mackey, my mother is still supportive of me, and still makes her home near Concord, Kentucky (Lewin County) in the house where I was born. One of my older brothers, Garry, and I performed as the "Mackey Brothers" during our teenage years and it was like going back in time when we sang a Buck Owens song, "You're Welcome Anytime." Reminiscent of the Buck Owens and Don Rich Style. Some very special blessings in my life are my two daughters Anita and Shaunda and their mother Janet. Anita sings with me from time to time and I want you to hear "Our Conscience You And Me".
From the very conception of this CD, Dennis Hensley, of Jordan Recording Studio in Covington, Kentucky, was there as a friend, a guiding light and co-producer. Thanks also to Scott Ballou, of Rightrack Sound and Design, for the excellent "Pro Tools" mixing work and creative graphic designs for this insert.
An expression of gratitude goes out to my friend Red Jenkins who got me started in the music business when I joined "Red Jenkins and The Country Lads" in 1970. Red was my mentor and a true icon of Country Music in Cincinnati.
Some big changes came in 1978, when I met Jean and Norman Stamper, two very special people who convinced me to open Bobby Mackey's. Jean and Norman, along with the promotion expertise of R.J.Seifert, helped make Bobby Mackey's the first name in Country Music in Greater Cincinnati.
In 1982, it was my pleasure to record a Stihl Chain Saw and a Stihl Trimmer jingle for Bryan Equipment Sales, Inc., produced by Jay Gilbert. It was an honor that they asked me to sing those jingles, and I have included them in this CD in recognition of their 60th anniversary.