Lyman Corbitt McAnally Jr., known professionally as Mac McAnally, is an American country music singer-songwriter, session musician and record producer. In his career, he has recorded ten studio albums and eight singles. Two of his singles were hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and six more on the Hot Country Songs charts.
His ninth chart entry came in late 2008, early 2009 as a guest vocalist on Kenny Chesney’s Number One cover of his 1990 single “Down the Road”. He has also produced for Sawyer Brown and Restless Heart, written several singles for other artists, and is a member of Jimmy Buffett’s backing band, The Coral Reefer Band.
McAnally was born in Red Bay, AL. He began playing piano and singing in church at the Belmont First Baptist Church in Belmont, Mississippi as a child, and by age fifteen, he had composed his first song.
From there, he went on to become a session musician in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. During a session break, McAnally began to perform original material. The producers there encouraged him, and by 1977 he was signed to Ariola Records. His self-titled debut album produced the single “It’s a Crazy World” which reached No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Reviewing it in Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau said, “although it does often sound pat, as folk stoicism will in a post-folk context, the first side comes across pretty outspoken for a Mississippi singer-songwriter with royalties in the bank—the heroine of one song is a rape victim who murders both assailant and judge after the latter lets off the former. Side two is Joe South.”
A second album, No Problem Here, was issued in 1978, followed in 1980 by Cuttin’ Corners on RCA Records. These latter two albums produced no chart singles. However, he found success as a songwriter for Jimmy Buffett, in addition to co-writing Alabama’s Number One hit “Old Flame”.
McAnally continued to record even while writing for Buffett. Mac eventually signed with Geffen Records with two albums (Nothin’ but the Truth, which included the single “Minimum Love” which reached No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Finish Lines) being issued in 1983 and 1988, respectively. He and Walt Aldridge co-wrote Ricky Van Shelton’s 1987 single “Crime of Passion“.