Mac Wiseman

bluegrass singer, Nashville

National Heritage Fellowship (2008)

Photo by Dan Loftin


Mac Wiseman (1925-   ) was born in Virginia and had a long career in country and bluegrass music before coming to Nashville in 1969.  After stints in the bands of Molly O’Day, Bill Monroe, and Flatt & Scruggs, Wiseman was the only bluegrass pioneer to distinguish himself as an independent singer, known for his pleasant tenor voice and melodic sentimental songs.  Also a strong guitarist, Wiseman enjoyed a varied career in radio, the recording industry, and live performance before becoming a fixture at bluegrass festivals beginning in the late 1960s.  He continues to be a popular senior statesman of bluegrass, keeping a deep repertory of traditional songs active in the genre.


For Mac Wiseman’s National Heritage Fellowship profile, go to

For more on Mac Wiseman and his recordings, go to:

For further reading, see:

Ewing, Tom, “Mac Wiseman: Giving Something Back,”  Bluegrass Unlimited 32,  #10 (April 1998) 40-43.
Goldsmith, Tommy, “’It Was the Singing’ – A Conversation with Mac Wiseman,” Bluegrass Unlimited  40, # 8 (Feb 2006):  24- 27.  
Irwin, John Rice.  A People and Their Music: The Story Behind the Story of Country Music (Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Co., 2000), pp. 156-77.
Kingsbury, Paul, ed.  The Encyclopedia of Country Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 597.
Rosenberg, Neil V.,  Bluegrass: A History (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985), pp. 116-17.
Willis, Barry R.  America’s Music: Bluegrass.  (Franktown, CO: Pine Valley Music, 1992), pp. 194-96.
Wiseman, Mac, with Paul F. Wells, “From Grass Roots to Bluegrass: Some Personal Reminiscences,” in Thomas Goldsmith, ed., The Bluegrass Reader (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004), pp. 61-65.


See sources above for information about Wiseman’s many recordings