Mustang Sally songwriter Mack Rice dies aged 82

Rice wrote for both Motown and Stax labels

Mack Rice, the songwriter whose tunes include Mustang Sally, has died at his home in Detroit. He was 82.

Rice began as a singer in Detroit in the 1950s, with his band The Falcons also featuring future solo stars Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd and Joe Stubbs.

While Rice carried on as a solo singer, his biggest success came as a songwriter. One of the few songwriters to pen songs for both the Motown and Stax soul record labels, Rice originally recorded ‘Mustang Sally’ himself in 1965. It wasn’t a hit, but his former Falcons bandmate Wilson Pickett asked Rice if he record it.

‘Mustang Sally’ eventually became a hit for Pickett in 1967, and has since been covered by the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Buddy Guy as well as featuring prominently in the film The Commitments.

Rice’s other songs include ‘Respect Yourself’, a hit for The Staple Singers. Others to record Rice’s songs include Etta James, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Albert King and Ike And Tina Turner.

After his musical inspiration began to fade, Rice ran an asphalt company in Detroit. He eventually released his first solo album ‘Right Now’ in 1992, which mixed his old hits with songs specially written for the album.

Rice suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for several years before his death.