Going in as “The Legend”
Malcolm B “Mac” Wiseman dubbed “The Voice With a Heart” has recorded on over 800 songs and was instrumental in the founding of the Country Music Association (CMA in 1958, and the first secretary-treasurer of the organization), was born May 23, 1925, in Crimora, Va. As an infant he contracted polio and spent much of this childhood indoors listening to old country records on the family’s phonograph. His mother would transcribe the lyrics from songs she heard on the radio into composition books for her young son.
After deciding to pursue a career in music, he attended the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Virginia with help from the National Foundation for infantile Paralysis, which would later become the March of Dimes.
In 1946, Wiseman joined Molly O’ Day’s band, where he developed a love of classic country. In 1948, he joined Lester Flatt and Scruggs as a member of their Foggy Mountain Boys. In 1949, he joined Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys where he played the Grand Ole Opry for the first time. He also recorded the classics “Traveling This Lonesome Road” and “Can’t you Hear Me Callin” with Monroe. In 1949 he lefts the band for a solos career.
He soon attracted the attention of the independent Label. In 1951, Dot released his first single, “Tis Sweet to be Remembered” which became a career-making song. This earned him the nickname “the voice with a heart” He then went on to record other classics, including, “Ballad of Davy Crockett.”
Mac was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2007, he and John Prine recorded a duet album, Standard Songs for Average People. In 2014 he was inducted into Country Hall of Hall of Fame in Nashville. He has also completed an album with Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, Issacs, and Jett Williams.