Australian songwriter Geoff Mack, writer of the iconic tune "I've Been Everywhere," has passed away at the age of 94.
Mack wrote "I’ve Been Everywhere" in 1959 and three years later it became a hit for Australian singer Lucky Starr. The catchy song was rewritten and pitched to Canadian country singer Hank Snow the same year and became a chart-topping single for Snow in the US.
To date, "I've Been Everywhere" has been covered more than 130 times by artists including Kris Kristofferson, Lynn Anderson and Asleep At The Wheel. Most may remember Johnny Cash's well-known rendition that was used in a series of commercials for Choice Hotels.
Mack's musical talents were first noticed while serving his country in WWII where he often joined visiting guest stars to entertain the troops. After the war, Mack went to Japan with the Occupation Forces to perform, and was appointed to Radio WLKS as the voice of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces.
Mack later moved to England where he met and married his wife, Tabbi, an English comedian and dancer. Geoff brought his new bride home to Australia on the back of a motorcycle via Europe, Turkey, Persia, Pakistan and India. They boarded a ship that took them to western Australia where they completed their 12,000 mile ride. That ride inspired Mack's signature song that he wrote on a whim. In 1959, Geoff was booked to perform in Sydney for the first time in years. In an effort to put together a fun song to open the show with, he wrote "I've Been Everywhere."
"I had three road maps and I thought, 'Gee, a lot of these towns rhyme.' So I start to put them together, all them 'Ohms' and the 'Attas,'" Mack said in a 2008 interview. The crowd loved the song and, as they say, the rest is history.
Mack was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in Nashville in 1963, the Hands of Fame at Tamworth NSW in 1978, and received the Tamworth Song Writer’s Association Song Maker Award in 1997. He received the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2005, and in 2013, Mack earned the Lifetime Achievement Golden Guitar from the Country Music Association of Australia.
Geoff Mack passed away Thursday July 20, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Tabbi Francis.
Interested in becoming a partner?
Contact us for more info.