Mac Wiseman is one of the greats from the golden age of classic bluegrass. From an early gig backing mountain music singer Molly O'Day, Wiseman landed a spot in the original 1946 lineup of Flatt & Scruggs's Foggy Mountain Boys. Wiseman also did some time with Bill Monroe before emerging as a solo star, following the success of his version of "Love Letters In The Sand," a song that perfectly showcased his sweet, clear tenor and strong, confident sense of melody. Wiseman was one of the bluegrass elders who were embraced by the 'Sixties folk movement, and during the '70s was a standardbearer of traditional musical values. Following the breakup of the Flatt & Scruggs duo, Wiseman became a frequent collaborator of Lester Flatt, cutting several fine albums with him in the early '70s.

Here's a look at the many albums Wiseman recorded over his decades-long career... Although the original records can be hard to fine, most of the music is also available in his equally bountiful best-of collections, which are listed on a separate page.

Discography - Albums | Best-Ofs

Mac Wiseman " 'Tis Sweet To Be Remembered" (Dot, 1957) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Beside The Still Waters" (Dot, 1959) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Great Folk Ballads" (Dot, 1959) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Sings 12 Great Hits" (Dot, 1960) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Keep On The Sunny Side" (Dot, 1960) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Best Loved Gospel Hymns" (Dot, 1961) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Fireball Mail" (Dot, 1961) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Bluegrass Favorites" (Capitol, 1963)
The lone album released during Wiseman's 1962-64 stint on Capitol (a second album was shelved after Beatlemania struck American shores, sidelining many of Capitol's nonrock acts. It was later to be released on CD, decades later...) It's a nice, relatively subdued set, featuring assists by Buck Trent, Chubby Wise, Ray Edenton and other fine pickers of the day. Interesting transitional step from his sublime '50s material and later efforts on Dot and various indie labels.

Mac Wiseman "At The Toronto Horseshoe Club" (Wise, 1965)

Mac Wiseman "Sincerely" (Hamilton, 1966) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "This Is Mac Wiseman" (Dot, 1966) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "A Master At Work" (Dot, 1966) (LP)

Mac Wiseman & The Osborne Brothers "Bluegrass" (Dot, 1966)

Mac Wiseman "Songs Of The Dear Old Days" (Hamilton, 1966) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Sings Old Time Country Favorites" (Rural Rhythm, 1966) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Mac Wiseman" (Hilltop, 1967) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "...Sings Johnny's Cash & Charley's Pride" (RCA Victor, 1970) (LP)

Mac Wiseman & Lester Flatt "Lester 'N' Mac" (RCA Victor, 1971) (LP)

Mac Wiseman & Lester Flatt "On The South Bound" (RCA Victor, 1972) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Singing Country Favorites" (Rural Rhythm, 1973) (LP)

Mac Wiseman & Lester Flatt "Over The Hills To The Poorhouse" (RCA Victor, 1973) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Concert Favorites" (RCA Victor, 1973) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Country Music Memories" (CMH, 1976) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "New Traditions, v.1" (Vetco, 1976) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "New Traditions, v.2" (Vetco, 1977) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Sings Gordon Lightfoot" (CMH, 1977)

Mac Wiseman & The Osborne Brothers "The Essential Bluegrass Album" (CMH, 1979)

Mac Wiseman "Songs That Made The Jukebox Play" (CMH, 1980) (LP)

Mac Wiseman & Chubby Wise "Mac And Chubby Live At Gilley's" (Gilley's, 1982)

Mac Wiseman & Merle Travis "The Clayton McMichen Story" (CMH, 1982) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Live In Concert" (Country Road, 1982) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Grassroots To Bluegrass" (CMH, 1982)

Mac Wiseman "If Teardrops Were Pennies" (51 West, 1984) (LP)

Mac Wiseman "Mac Wiseman" (MCA-Dot, 1986) (LP)
A fascinating later album, with several contending influences that blend together quite nicely. First, there's Wiseman's own brand of truegrass cool -- he's an old-timer who never lost his edge, and even though you have to be willing to look past his (slightly) diminished vocal presence on here, the songs are all great, and the performances are uniformly solid, stamped with a sincerity and authenticity that is sorely lacking in so much of modern country. Alongside the old pro is '70s "outlaw" icon Tompall Glaser, whose studio this was recorded in, and whose influence is felt both in the weary, boozy, cynical emotional tone and in the song repertoire, which includes offbeat country selections such as "Once More With Feeling," a Kris Kristofferson/Shel Silverstein classic best known through Jerry Lee Lewis's suberb version, and Smiley Sutter's "Best Of All Leading Brands," two fine examples of recycled '70s gems. There are also some great weepers and oldies, and here Wiseman is aided by the late, great John Hartford, who plunks some banjo, picks some guitar and doubtless helped 'em all keep it real. Although the tempo feels lethargic, the music is great. Definitely worth checking out.

Mac Wiseman "Number One Christmas" (Power Pak, 1994)

Doc Watson/Del McCoury/Mac Wiseman "Del, Doc & Mac" (Sugar Hill, 1998)
A swell collaboration between three of the most authentic, most moving, and most important traditional artists in the bluegrass/old-timey firmament. Each takes his turn singing, with accompaniment that is nothing less than stellar, and the results are precious and magical... Doc Watson was sounding kind of old on here, but still drenched with soulfulness and warmth, and Wiseman and Del McCoury remain as potent as ever... A very nice record... highly recommended!

Mac Wiseman/Bobby Osborne/Jim Silvers "Three Tenors Of Bluegrass" (CMH, 2000)

Mac Wiseman "Letter Edged In Black" (Music Mill, 2001)

Mac Wiseman "Just Because" (Music Mill, 2001)

Mac Wiseman "Maple On The Hill" (Music Mill, 2001)

Mac Wiseman & Brother Oswald "Shares Precious Memories" (Music Mill, 2001)

Mac Wiseman "First Recorded Live Concert" (Music Mill, 2001)

Mac Wiseman "The Lost Album" (Music Mill, 2003)

Mac Wiseman "15 Of My Grandma's Favorites" (Music Mill, 2005)

Mac Wiseman "15 Of My Gospel Favorites" (Music Mill, 2005)

Mac Wiseman & John Prine "Standard Songs For Average People" (Oh Boy, 2007)
When you see these two guys together, and then hear them singing in such perfect synch, a lightbulb will pop up above your head and you'll think, Oh, of course...!! Duh!! Although even the youthful John Prine always had a limited vocal range, the expressiveness and depth of feeling he's poured into his every performance has a lot in common with bluegrass elder Mac Wiseman, a superior tenor stylist who knew how to wring not just sentiment, but real, moving feeling out of all the songs he tackled. Here, they swap verses on a flock of their favorite songs, a delightful set of country and pop oldies, stuff ranging from hard country tunes like "Pistol Packin' Mama" and "I Love You Because" and a mellowed version of Charlie Feathers/Elvis kookazoid rockabilly oldie, "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" to fanciful covers of pop standards such as Patti Page's hit, "Old Cape Cod" and Bing Crosby's "Where The Blue Of The Night (Meets The Gold Of The Day)"... It's a wonderful nostalgia trip, with two loveable old farts crooning their hearts out, in a delightful musical and cultural unison. The spirit of this album is perfectly captured in their version of the Bob Wills evergreen, "Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Age"; if you like heartsongs and sentiment sung with feeling, then this disc'll be a real treat.

Mac Wiseman "Old Likker In A New Jug" (Wise, 2008)

Mac Wiseman "Waiting For The Boys To Come Home" (Wise, 2008)

Mac Wiseman "Bluegrass Tradition" (Gusto, 2008)


Hick Music Index

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