Mark Willis

Oral History Information

Interview Date
Job Title
Songwriter, Musician

Mark Willis grew up in Blueridge, Georgia, with a passion for music. His local music store was Ken Stanton Music, where he often went for accessories for the Gibson archtop he was given as a kid. His vocal skills really developed in junior high school where his choir director became an inspiration to him. In fact, that choir director later came to Mark’s debut performance on the Grand Ole Opry in 2018. After attending school, he sang in bars and open mic nights, which led to an opportunity to record demos for local studios. His solo recording career began in 1996 when he was signed by Mercury Records. Among his chart-topping songs are “Jacob’s Ladder," “19 Somethin’," and “Don’t Laugh At Me.”