Funeral services for “Sir” Mack Rice will take place at noon July 7 at New Bethel Baptist Baptist Church, 8430 Linwood (Rev. C.L. Franklin Blvd.) in Detroit. The family hour will start at 11 a.m.
Rice, 82, died Monday evening after a long bout with Alzheimer’s disease. A Detroiter since 1950, he sang with the Five Scalders while at Northern High, and later, with the Falcons, but he’s best known as a songwriter, having written hits for Wilson Pickett (“Mustang Sally”), the Staple Singers (“Respect Yourself”), Johnnie Taylor (“Cheaper to Keep Her”) and others.
Visitation will start at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the church and from 5-6 p.m., the church will be the site of a “Tribute to Mack Rice,” with music by friends including Pat Lewis, the Original Vandellas, Willie Jones, Melvin Davis, Joe “Pep” Harris of the Undisputed Truth, Misty Love, and Thornetta Davis, according to Lewis.
“We’ll be doing a medley of Mack’s hits, from the Falcons, including ‘I Found a Love’ and ‘You’re So Fine,’ also ‘Cheaper to Keep Her,’ ‘Respect Yourself” and ‘Mustang Sally,’ ” Lewis said. “It’s going to be a great homegoing.”
There also will be a musical gathering after the funeral at Bert’s Warehouse Theater, 2727 Russell in the Eastern Market, between Mack and Gratiot.
Susan Whitall is a longtime music writer, author and contributor to the Detroit News.