Mack Magaha


Mack Magaha (August 1, 1929 – August 15, 2003) was an American bluegrass fiddler best known as a member of Porter Wagoner's band and a long-time backup player in the pioneering bluegrass band Reno and Smiley.

Music career

In 1955, Magaha joined Reno and Smiley as a member of the Tennessee Cutups.[1] Together with Don Reno, he wrote the popular song "I know You're Married But I Love You Still", which was recorded by Reno & Smiley. It was later covered by artists such as Bill Anderson, Rodney Crowell, Jan Howard, Patty Loveless, Jimmy Martin, Red Sovine, and Travis Tritt.[2] In 1964, he joined Porter Wagoner's Wagonmasters.[3] During the 1960s, he worked as an old-time fiddler on The Porter Wagoner Show[4] and later worked with the aspiring female star on the show, Dolly Parton.[2] Among the later songs Magaha wrote, "We'll Get Ahead Someday" provided a top-ten country single for Wagoner and Parton in 1968, one of their first duet hits.

He became a regular performer at the theme park Opryland USA in the 1970s. He died at age 74 at Nashville's Veterans Hospital.[3]

Magaha was known as Nashville's Dancing Fiddle Man.[2] Like Curly Ray Cline, Magaha had a fiery stage presence, doing his dancelike movements while he was fiddling.[5]


  1. ^ Tribe 2006, p. 245.
  2. ^ a b c Black 2005, p. 171.
  3. ^ a b - Retrieved on October 22, 2009
  4. ^ Malone 2002, p. 271.
  5. ^ Ledgin 2004, p. 59.


  • Black, Bob (2005), Come Hither To Go Yonder: Playing Bluegrass With Bill Monroe, University of Illinois Press
  • Ledgin, Stephanie P. (2004), Homegrown Music: Discovering Bluegrass, Greenwood Publishing Group
  • Malone, Bill C. (2002), Country Music U.S.A., University of Texas Press
  • Tribe, Ivan M. (2006), Country: A Regional Exploration, Greenwood Publishing Group
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  • MusicBrainz