Mac Davis began his entertainment career as a very successful songwriter, seeing several of his compositions recorded by Elvis Presley, including “In the Ghetto” and “A Little Less Conversation.” The Texan has also been a popular entertainer onstage as a country-pop crossover act, as the host of a TV variety show and as an actor in feature films.
Davis was inspired by the example of Buddy Holly, another Lubbock-born singer-songwriter, and formed a band while attending Emory University. His skills as a songwriter were quickly noticed by a variety of artists, and he had his first Top 40 hit as a composer with Presley's release of “Clean Up Your Own Backyard” in 1969. Later that same year, “In the Ghetto” reached No. 3 on the pop chart. Over the next few years, more of his songs were taken to the charts by Presley, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers and Bobby Goldsboro.
His first hit as a recording artist came in 1972 with the No. 1 “Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me.” For two years, beginning in 1974, Davis hosted a TV variety show, “The Mac Davis Show.” In 1979, he appeared in a key role alongside Nick Nolte as a hard-living football player in “North Dallas Forty,” and in 1983 starred opposite Jackie Gleason in “The Sting II.”
In the early 1990s, Davis starred in the title role on Broadway in “The Will Rogers Follies,” and beginning in 1999, he voiced occasional characters on Fox Television's animated “King of the Hill.” In 2002, Presley's recording of Davis' “A Little Less Conversation” was remixed by Junkie XL and became an international hit, reaching No. 1 in 20 countries. In 2006, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.