David Mackay

Born: May 11th, 1944, Sydney (Australia)
Nationality: Australian

David Mackay worked as a recording engineer and, somewhat later, as Head of A&R at EMI Australia, producing around thirty hit singles and producing The Twilights, one of Australia’s most beloved pop bands of the 1960s. Mackay moved to London to work for the British branch of EMI; later he set up an independent company which he led personally. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he arranged and produced singles and albums for many artists, including Blue Mink, the New Seekers (‘I’d like to teach the world to sing’), Cliff Richard (‘Hangin’ on’), Bonnie Tyler (‘It’s a heartache’), and Demis Roussos (‘Lost in love’). Meanwhile, Mackay became involved in writing scores for BBC television, such as the series ‘Auf Wiedersehen, pet’ and ‘As time goes by’. With Jon English, he wrote a concept album called ‘Paris’, which was reworked into a rock musical which premiered in Australia in 2003. Mackay was the supervisor of the West End production of the musical ‘125th Street’.

David Mackay produced, arranged, and conducted two UK entries in the Eurovision Song Contest: ‘Beg, steal or borrow’, sung by The New Seekers in 1972 (second place), and Cliff Richard’s ‘Power to all our friends’, one year later (third place). The latter song was the first-ever Eurovision entry with a pre-recorded backing track which included some of the instrumental features.

In due course, a more extensive biography of David Mackay will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1972: Beg, steal or borrow
1973: Power to all our friends