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Russell House / CC BY SA 3.0

Guitar Virtuoso Lonnie Mack Dead At 74

Lonnie Mack's guitar playing influenced Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, among others.

By Matt Picht | April 22, 2016

Pioneering guitarist Lonnie Mack has died of natural causes at the age of 74.

Mack started out as a session guitarist in Cincinnati until his instrumental cover of Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" stormed the charts. His music drew from many styles, including country, blues and rock.

Mack's guitar-playing had a deep influence on several other guitar virtuosos, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Duane Allman and Keith Richards. He also helped popularize Gibson's Flying V model; the guitar's tremolo bar became known as a "whammy bar" after Mack's 1964 song "Wham!"

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Mack was inducted into the International Guitar Hall Of Fame in 2001 and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2005. He is survived by five children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

This video includes images from Russell House / CC BY SA 3.0 and clips from Sony / Lonnie MackWKRN and Epic / Stevie Ray Vaughan.

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