Country music fans might remember Warner Mack as a popular singing star with a number-one hit on 1965’s “The Bridge Washed Out,” but not many will recall that his singing career was stalled by an auto accident that left him severely injured. And even though he slowly worked his way back to a measure of success, we’ll never know how big a star he might have become.
Born in Nashville and raised in Mississippi as the son of a minister, Warner MacPherson has performed as Warner Mack for most of his career, which began while he was still a teenager. In fact, his first charted hit song — 1957’s “Is It Wrong” — had been written by the young singer a few years earlier, when he was just thirteen!
Mack’s follow-up on the charts was a fun foray into early rock and roll with the intriguing title of “Rock-A-Chicka”, but for the next several years he mostly churned out solid country hits. Unfortunately, in the same year that he struck gold with “The Bridge Washed Out” and also “Sittin’ In a All Night Cafe,” Mack was seriously injured one night while driving home from a show.
It would be the beginning of a long, frustrating period for the singer, who eventually lost his recording contract mostly due to his inability to tour and promote his records. He gradually rebuilt his career and by the late 1960s was again appearing on the charts with songs like “Talking To The Wall” and “Leave My Dreams Alone,” but his injuries were so severe that he still required numerous surgeries through the years. He has also had to fight more than his share of pain along the way, but at last report he was still active and even has a website.