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Blues guitarist Lonnie Mack dies at 74

By Daniel Uria
Blues guitarist Lonnie Mack dies at 74
Blues guitarist Lonnie Mack, who is credited for coining the term "whammy bar" and noted for his influence on Stevie Ray Vaughn and others, died of natural causes near his home at age 74 on Thursday. Mack was honored by the International Guitar Hall Of Fame in 2001 and the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame in 2005 and was referred to as "a pioneer in rock guitar soloing" by Rolling Stone. Photo by Alligator Records

SMITHVILLE , Tenn., April 22 (UPI) -- Blues guitarist and vocalist Lonnie Mack died near his home in Tennessee at the age of 74, according to a statement by record label Alligator Records.

The Chicago-based record label released a statement saying that Mack died of natural causes on April 21 at Centennial Medical Center near his home in Smithville, Tenn.

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Mack was known for his hits "Wham!" and an instrumental version of Chuck Berry's Memphis, and Rolling Stone heralded him as "a pioneer in rock guitar soloing."

He began playing music professionally as a teen and effectively coined the term "whammy bar" for his use of the tremolo bar on his iconic Gibson Flying V in the song "Wham!"

His influence also greatly inspired the work of Stevie Ray Vaughan as well as Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Keith Richards and Jimmy Page.

Mack was inducted into the International Guitar Hall Of Fame in 2001 and the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame in 2005.

He was born Lonnie McIntosh on July 18, 1941 in West Harrison, Ind., and is survived by five children and by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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