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Greg Mack

Radio host Greg Mack was born on June 22, 1959 in Emory, Texas. He was raised in Van Alstyne, Texas, and started in radio in 1975 as an intern with KTSA in San Antonio, Texas, while still in high school. Mack continued to work for KTSA after graduating from Van Alstyne High School in 1977.

While working at KTSA, Mack was hired part-time as the weekend DJ at KEYS/KZFM in Corpus Christi, Texas. Soon afterwards, he was given a full-time show. When a post at Majic 102 (KMJQ-FM) in Houston, Texas opened up in 1980, Mack was hired to host the six-to-ten shift. In 1983, Mack was named music director at KDAY in Los Angeles, California, where he changed the direction of the station by incorporating rap music. From his position at KDAY, Mack promoted many that would become the most well-known artists of the mid-1980s and early-1990s, such as Dr. Dre and the World Class Wreckin’ Cru, N.W.A, Ice T, and many others. Eventually, KDAY’s popularity was eclipsed by more powerful FM stations, and Mack moved on to Stevie Wonder-owned KJLH in 1990.

After his time at KDAY and KJLH, Mack purchased several radio stations, and acted as a radio station consultant. He signed a contract with MCA Records and released a CD entitled “The Mixmasters.” He then signed with Motown, and in 1989, released a compilation album of hits played at KDAY titled “What Does It All Mean?” He also released a three-CD compilation named “KDAY ‘Mack Attack,’” highlighting his mixing crew the MixMasters, and featuring mix shows, jingles, and show outtakes in 1997. He joined 94.7 the WAVE in 2013 as the Saturday night DJ.

Mack has five children and six grandchildren.

Greg Mack was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 2, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.199

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/2/2014

Last Name

McMillion

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Van Alstyne H S

Fox Technical H S

San Antonio College

First Name

Greggory

Birth City, State, Country

Emory

HM ID

MAC04

Favorite Season

When It Rains

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Wherever He Can Fish

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/22/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Barbecue

Short Description

Radio host Greg Mack (1959 - ) is widely credited with pioneering the twenty-four hour rap format at KDAY-AM 1580, in Los Angeles, California.

Employment

KTSA/KTFM San Antonio

KEYS/KZFM Corpus Christi

Majic 102 (KMJQ-FM)

KDAY Los Angeles

KJLH Los Angeles

MCA Records

Motown Records

94.7 The WAVE

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159180">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Greg Mack's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159181">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Greg Mack lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159182">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Greg Mack describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159183">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Greg Mack talks about his grandparents' farm in Emory, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159184">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Greg Mack talks about his mother's experience growing up in Emory, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159185">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Greg Mack talks about his biological father and his stepfather</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159186">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Greg Mack describes a trait he shares with his grandfather</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159187">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Greg Mack talks about his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159188">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Greg Mack describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159189">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Greg Mack describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159190">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Greg Mack describes Van Alstyne, Texas in the 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159191">Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Greg Mack recalls elementary school experiences in Van Alstyne, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159192">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Greg Mack explains his views on the Christian church</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159193">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Greg Mack talks about listening to the radio and watching TV in the 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159194">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Greg Mack talks about his high school sports experiences</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159195">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Greg Mack talks about raising pigs in Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159196">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Greg Mack talks about his parents' move to California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159197">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Greg Mack talks about the difference between his speech and East Texas black dialect</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159198">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Greg Mack talks about school extracurricular activities and raising himself as a young teenager</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159199">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Greg Mack talks about moving to San Antonio, Texas and behaving as the class clown at Fox Technical High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159200">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Greg Mack recalls interning at a radio station in San Antonio, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159201">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Greg Mack talks about his early career aspirations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159202">Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Greg Mack talks about interning at KTSA in San Antonio, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159203">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Greg Mack talks about his first job at KTSA radio in San Antonio, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159204">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Greg Mack talks about getting a first-class radio license</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159205">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Greg Mack recalls leaving KTSA radio in San Antonio, Texas and joining KEYS radio in Corpus Christi, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159206">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Greg Mack talks about his responsibilities at KTSA and KEYS radio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159207">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Greg Mack talks about being hired by Majic 102 in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159208">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Greg Mack talks about working the late night shift at Majic 102 in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159209">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Greg Mack talks about accepting a job offer from KDAY radio in Los Angeles, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159210">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Greg Mack describes an interview with Charlie Wilson and Roger Troutman</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159211">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Greg Mack recalls his decision to add rap to the music lineup at KDAY radio in Los Angeles, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159212">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Greg Mack describes diversifying the music lineup at KDAY in Los Angeles, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159213">Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Greg Mack recalls working with Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, and Tony G</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159214">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Greg Mack describes his DJs at KDAY radio in Los Angeles, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159215">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Greg Mack talks about playing new rappers and unreleased songs on KDAY radio in Los Angeles, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159216">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Greg Mack recalls Friday Night Live parties and his relationship with Los Angeles gangs</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159217">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Greg Mack describes his relationships with Los Angeles gangs and Barry White</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159218">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Greg Mack talks about the most memorable moment of his career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159219">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Greg Mack remembers meeting Diana Ross and Michael Jackson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159220">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Greg Mack talks about working with Dr. Dre on 'Boyz-n-the-Hood' and 'Radio'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159221">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Greg Mack talks about Dr. Dre and Eazy-E</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159222">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Greg Mack talks about the origins of Def Jam Recordings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159223">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Greg Mack talks about pioneering the rhythmic contemporary format at KDAY in Los Angeles, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159224">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Greg Mack explains the demise of KDAY radio in the early 1990s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159225">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Greg Mack recalls the beginning of his career at KJLH in Los Angeles, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159226">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Greg Mack talks about producing his two records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159227">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Greg Mack talks about his failed business ventures and losing his first radio station</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159228">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Greg Mack talks about his failed attempts at radio station ownership</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159229">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Greg Mack talks about joining The WAVE radio station and current media projects</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159230">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Greg Mack talks about what he would have done differently in his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159231">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Greg Mack reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159232">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Greg Mack describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159233">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Greg Mack talks about the future of black radio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159234">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Greg Mack talks about his family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159235">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Greg Mack talks about participating in historical documentaries</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/159236">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Greg Mack describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$3

DAStory

8$9

DATitle
Greg Mack talks about Dr. Dre and Eazy-E
Greg Mack recalls his decision to add rap to the music lineup at KDAY radio in Los Angeles, California
Transcript
--And so, we just did a lot of stuff together, you know, me and [Dr.] Dre, but not just Dre but Ice Cube, because Ice Cube at that time was trying to get going. And he had his little group, him and Sir Jinx, and they used to come up to the radio station [KDAY, Los Angeles, California]. And, and what people don't know is that, you know, most everything N.W.A. [Niggaz Wit Attitudes] put out in the beginning, Ice Cube wrote it. Ice Cube was a brilliant kid. He went to college, University of Arizona [Phoenix, Arizona]. He's just, he's a genius. And so him and Jinx had their group. I, I think I played it, you know, for a few weeks. It just didn't do that well, you know. But when him and Dre and him kind of came together, he, you know, he blew up. And all of those guys--a lot of people don't know this, but everybody in N.W.A. were just the nicest kids. You would trust having 'em at your house. They were not gang members. What they were is they had a lot of friends that were into it, and so they were reflecting what they heard their friends--that's what they were. They were not gangsters. However, I did see them fight before, and they could fight like [Mike] Tyson. Dre can throw, Eazy[-E]. You know, I'm going to tell you this quick story. I don't even know if you're gonna use it. But I saw--we, we had a party one night. It was a release of the N.W.A. album. And so Dre and Eazy come up, and the security wouldn't let 'em into their own party. They had rented the place. And I said, "Dude, these are the people that rented the place for the night." "Yeah, but you're not coming in dressed liked that. You gotta go take that jersey off. You gotta take that hat off." I said, "Dude, this is their image." "Nah, nah, we're not gonna do it." So I'm like, "Just hold on." So I get in to get Jerry Heller, who's their manager. And before I could get back, or get Jerry back, 'cause I had already came back. So, and Dre and Eazy were like, "Man, we're going in. We'll deal with this later." And so the dude grabbed Dre's girlfriend at the time and grabbed her by the breast and pushed her back. And why did he do that. (Laughter) You know, and then Dre is like, pow, pow, pow. And then this big tall Italian guy that was security, Eazy comes up and just jumps up on him, 'cause Eazy is real short. He just--but he's stocky. You know, he's all, he's like muscle. So Eazy just jumps up and locks on his head (laughter), and he just starts pounding him. He had a big ring that had an E on it. There was E's all over this guy's head. And finally, the guy fell down to his knees. And when he fell down to his knees, then Eazy just started wailing on him. Right about that time Jerry comes up. But when Jerry comes up, all of a sudden there's cop cars, 'cause this was like in the Beverly Center [Los Angeles, California]. You know, this is, you know, you don't come up in a white area and start doing this. And so there was cops coming from everywhere. Needless to say, they had to leave. They couldn't come into their own party because these guys were being A-holes. But I got to see 'em in action, and I was just blown away that these guys could fight like that. But they're just calm kids, you know. And there was rumors that Eazy got his money from drugs. And, and I'll be honest with you, I don't know. I really don't know. He used to laugh about it, said, "Man, you get--did you start this with drug money?" He'd start laughing, "Man, they making stuff up." And then sometimes you'd ask him, you know. "Yeah, I had to do what I had to do." So, you never knew, and I really didn't care. It had noth--it didn't affect me one way or the other.$You know, it was kind of like I was starting to meet all these people now, and I really started to really fall in love with radio because I was, I, I really got into that. But I was also the music director at Majic [102, KMJQ, Houston, Texas]. I helped 'em, a lot more research than anything. That's how I learned the research stuff and started to build up my credentials for what was about to happen in L.A. [Los Angeles, California].$$Okay, so what kind of research are we talking about in terms of--$$Well, I would tally all the requests. I would call all the record stores and see what was selling and talk to the record companies, see what they were pushing, listen to all of the albums because I always felt like what they're pushing and what we wanna play are two different things, you know. And so I was trying to see if there are songs that maybe they weren't pushing on the album that might fit. And most of the time what the record companies did back then is they would put their best sin- they'd leave the best single on the album because they wanted you to go buy the album. They didn't make any money when you'd go buy the 45 or the 12-inch. And so they'd leave the best song on there. And I was always trying to find that best song, you know. And so, when I went to KDAY [Los Angeles, California] and they asked me to be the music director like within a week, I said sure, and I implemented that, you know. But we were very in tune to the streets. I've always felt like if you know the streets, if you're hip to the streets, if you know what people are listening to, that's how you win. We actually did give the people what they want. So many stations say more variety, more this, more that, and it's bull, bull crap. And I actually did. And so when they asked me to be the music director, they said, "Well, what do you, what do you think?" I said, "Well, give me a few days." And basically, when I got here I was living in the heart of South Central L.A., which back then was not probably the most desirable neighborhood. But you didn't even have to roll your window down. People were rolling buy, and they were playing Run-DMC, they were playing Kurtis Blow, Sugarhill Gang. And I'm like, wait a minute. You know, nobody's really, you know, playing this on the radio. They had played Sugarhill Gang when I was at KTSA [San Antonio, Texas]. And they looked at it as novelty, you know, just like they did 'Disco Duck' when Rick Dees came out. So they thought rap was novelty. And then they played Run-DMC when they came out. But, again, it was novelty. It was never taken seriously. And so when I got to L.A., and that's like all that you heard in the streets was rap, and so I told Jack [Patterson] and Ed [Kerby], I said, "Well, here's what we're gonna do, you know. You guys are gonna allow me to do what I wanna do?" "Well, yeah." But the rap stuff they'd only, in the beginning they would only let me play it at night. They wouldn't let me play it during the day, so I had to do what they called day parting. And so they started letting me put it on at night. And the ratings at night just, bam! And the very first rating book, the very first ninety days KDAY's numbers just jumped. And they were like--you know, 'cause it was like at that time five black stations. We weren't competing with the whole market. We were just competing with the other black stations. KDAY went from number five to two immediately, so they were very, very happy. "What, what, what are you doing? What's going on?" "It's that rap, man, you know." And so they started allowing me to put it on throughout the day.