Bob MacKenzie moved to Nashville in 1964 to become the general manager of The Nashville Symphony. He joined the John T. Benson Publishing Company in 1966 as creative director. During his tenure, MacKenzie produced virtually every album Benson released, in styles ranging from Hale & Wilder to The Sego Brothers & Naomi. During this time, MacKenzie almost single-handedly raised the level of quality of Christian music recordings by utilizing some of Nashville’s best musicians and technicians and other measures such as taking several album masters at a time to London to add orchestration. Included on the list of his production credits includes The Bill Gaither Trio, The Stamps Quartet, Doug Oldham, The Rambos, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Imperials, The Speers, Truth, Re-Generation and many others. Alleluia: A Praise Gathering for Believers, the first gold record in Christian music, is among the classic albums produced by Bob MacKenzie. His long association with Bill Gaither led to the formation of Paragon Associates which managed Gaither copyrights, developed artists, created the ground-breaking hymnal, Hymns for the Family of God, and released albums on several artists including Don Francisco, whose “He’s Alive” became a Christian music classic. A partnership between Paragon and Zondervan purchased The Benson Company, installing MacKenzie as president. MacKenzie’s greatest contribution to Christian music, however, may be his involvement as a motivator, mentor and “inspirer” in the careers of scores of artists, writers and industry folks. The late Fred Bock spoke for many when he said, “I would have to say that Bob MacKenzie is the greatest creative catalyst that I’ve had in my life.”
Bob MacKenzie died on October 20, 2000 at the age of 62.