COUNTDOWN 5 Era..........

My music career began when I joined my life long friends Tommy Williams and Tommy Murphy in a band called "D & The Dominoes" while still in high school in Texas City, TX.  That band soon became the "Countdown 5" joined by Steve Long and John Balzer.  The "5" was a 60's rock and roll show band that produced two Billboard Top 100 hits, "Uncle Kirby" and "Shaka Na Na" that were later released in Germany, England, France, Greece, Italy, and Austria.  The 5's home base was the the beach in Galveston, TX, as the house band for the legendary Bamboo Hut and later the Grass Menagerie beach clubs that were THE summer destinations for college kids from all over the U. S.  Because of the success of their records the 5 also toured throughout the Southeastern U. S. doing college shows and opening concerts for the super star acts of the era such as the Dave Clark 5, Paul Revere & the Raiders, the Grass Roots, Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, B. J. Thomas, the Fifth Dimension, Steppenwolf, Sir Douglas Quintet, and others.  Tommy Williams, John Balzer, and I eventually disbanded the Countdown 5 after receiving an offer to travel with Liza Minnelli.

               COUNTDOWN 5 Photo Gallery

LIZA MINNELLI Era..........

After disbanding the Countdown 5, Tommy, John, and I met Liza and musician friend Rex Kramer (formerly with the Houston "Bojangles" band) in Los Angeles to begin our first tour under the new group name the "Wire Band".  We worked with Liza in her concert shows for the time period prior to her filming the movie "Cabaret".  Upon completion of the film we rejoined Liza in Los Angeles for another extended tour.  Our travels with Liza encompassed most of the U. S. (New York, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, etc.), Canada, Puerto Rico, and Paris, France.  Needless to say, traveling with Liza at her superstar level and meeting some of the most incredible people from all over the world was an experience this star struck kid from Texas will never forget.  Liza was wonderful to all of us in the band and to my wife Sandra and daughter Stephanie.  I will always be grateful to her!

               LIZA MINNELLI Photo Gallery

LUV YA BLUE Era..........

Sports fans will always remember the 1970's Bum Phillips's Houston Oiler football team as one of the most exciting and colorful teams in all of pro sports.  In December of 1978 near the height of Oiler mania, my wife Sandra and I wrote and I performed a parody of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" entitled "The Twelve Days of Oiler Christmas" on the GOOD MORNING HOUSTON television show starring my friends Don Nelson and Jan Glenn.  Originally intended as just a fun tribute to the Oilers, to everyone's amazement, the station was flooded with calls from viewers and other TV and radio stations in Houston wanting a record of the song. (See what I mean about Oiler mania?)  I recorded the song later that morning and by that evening it was being played 24/7 on every radio and TV station in town.  Go figure.  The next day I was summoned to Houston Oiler's owner Bud Adams' office and was asked to write a song to spearhead a popular new promotion called "Luv Ya Blue" that the team was going to use as a focal point for the next ('79 - '80) season.  I wrote and recorded "Luv Ya Blue" and introduced it at the famous Oiler's pep rally at the Astrodome following a their heartbreaking loss to Pittsburgh in the '79 playoffs.  The next season I performed with my "Luv Ya Blue Band" at every Oilers home game in the Astrodome.  What a kick!

               LUV YA BLUE Photo Gallery


Following our last tour with Liza, John Balzer and I teamed up to form the "MACK & JOHN" band.  After so many years of touring, our goal was to buy our own nightclub, establish a home base back in the Houston area, and get off the road.  We did just that when we purchased the Atrium Restaurant, a 235 seat restaurant and nightclub located on the top floor of the 1100 Nasa Road One Building in Clear Lake City, TX.  Only a stone's throw from the Johnson Space Center, the club really jumped with astronauts, news people, and folks from all over the Houston-Galveston metroplex.  John and I performed two Las Vegas style shows each night, with dance music and backup provided by our band headed by the incredible vocalist Nina Kay and Bil "Cadillac" Cusack.


After John and I sold the Atrium, I traveled the Gulf Coast with my "Mack Hayes & Magic" band, and eventually settled into a permanent engagement with my "Mack Hayes & Headlines" band (featuring two wonderful and talented friends, vocalist Diane Hass and pianist Mike Dorman) at the beautiful San Luis Hotel Resort built by billionaire oil man George Mitchell.  Mr. Mitchell single-handedly began the rebuilding of Galveston into the world class resort destination that it is today.  We were the house band for him at the San Luis for ten terrific years.  Mr. Mitchell was an extremely kind and inspirational person in my life.  I'm very grateful to him.


I teamed up with my friend Bryan Barnes in 1993 while still at the San Luis Hotel in Galveston, TX, to form the "MACK & BRYAN" show.  Our thirteen year run included the San Luis Resort, Post Oak Grill in Houston, Kingwood Country Club in Kingwood, TX, and the legendary Resa's Steakhouse in Champions north Houston.  Also included were hundreds of corporate events, weddings, private parties, country clubs, Christmas parties, class reunions, and nightclubs;  over 3,000 engagements in all, from Texas to Florida.  In March, 2006, Bryan and decided to once again pursue our individual careers.  What a great run! Thanks, Bryan!


For ten years my wife Sandra & I had the good fortune to work with Virginia Lee, owner of Leisure Travel w Fred & Ginger, Inc.  Fans and friends signed up to cruise with us out of Galveston, TX every Valentine's week.  Great seven day cruises on Royal Caribbean Carnival Cruise lines to Cozumel, Cancun, Belize, Roatan, Jamaica, Key West, and the Bahamas.  On the three cruising days at sea, we would take over one of the ships nightclubs and I  would play a dance party exclusively for our group, generally 80 to 120 people.  Loved cruising!



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