Mark Bishop has one of the most distinctive voices in all of Gospel Music. He is also regarded as one of the preeminent Gospel songwriters of our generation. His songs have been recorded by several of today’s most popular Gospel Music groups. Once you have heard one of Mark’s thought-provoking songs, you’ll immediately know why Gospel Music lovers consider him one of the genre’s top singer/songwriters.
Mark’s musical roots trace back to idyllic summer evenings in Kentucky, singing on the front porch with his family. It was then that the Bishop family began to form a musical foundation that would usher them to the forefront of Gospel Music. During their career, The Bishops enjoyed enormous success across all outlets, with twenty-seven national Top-40 songs, including twelve Top 5 songs and three Number 1 songs.
Since embarking on a solo career in 2002, Mark Bishop has not missed a beat. He has been honored with multiple nominations and awards in a broad range of categories from leading Gospel Music publications and organizations. He is one of the select few soloists who have been invited to perform on the Main Stage of Gospel Music’s signature event, the National Quartet Convention. Over the past thirty years, Mark’s songs are staples on Gospel Music radio, accumulating numerous hits on the national airplay charts.
Mark Bishop hasn’t been on the road since the COVD-19 pandemic slammed the brakes on his touring schedule, but the award-winning singer-songwriter is making the most of his time at home.“I felt like I was just getting right back into it (following a Christmas break) and then this hit,” he said. “You can’t have any public gatherings and we are sequestering at home. It’s been different, but there’s a lot of aspects to what I do (that keep me busy). A big chunk of income has been taken out because of not being able to do the live concerts, but I expect things to get back to normal eventually.”
Bishop is optimistic his touring schedule and some form of normalcy in society will resume soon and is hopeful with the development of the vaccines it will be sooner rather than later. Although concerts are a major part of his regular routine, Bishop splits a majority of his time writing songs and other projects pertaining to the Southern Gospel Music Industry.
“When you do something creative for a living, that doesn’t turn off just because you are sequestered at home,” Bishop said. “Writing continues and we are working on a series of daily radio shows that we are going to be sending out to over 500 radio stations. We’ve been working on that and it will be going out toward the end of the month to Christian radio stations and rural radio stations. There are a lot of projects that we stay busy with that we haven’t been able to do while we are at live concerts where people are gathered.”
Bishop’s concerts traditionally feature “bits of music and bits of humor” received well by the audience and he always “just likes to make people feel good.” The success of the humor and stories mixed into his concerts inspired his newest venture and added that it’s something “I just do anyway. People like to hear the sound of laughter and I like to see people smile,” he said. “For years we infused our music concerts with humor and stories and in the past couple of years, I’ve had a lot of people that have been asking about recording more of the comedy and the funny stories. We found a way to facilitate that without actually going out and doing a live recording. This gives us a way to do that.”
For the previous 37 years, Bishop grew accustomed to a busy traveling scheduling this time of the year, leading up to the summer months. “I’ve been on the road for 35 years to have this long of a hiatus (is different),” he said. “We usually don’t have a hiatus until around Christmas for two or three weeks in December.”
The time away has allowed Bishop to spend more time with his family, especially his grandchildren but jokingly added that his wife Carolyn is “ready for me to go somewhere and sing for somebody. She’s been listening to me sing for 35 years now and that’s nothing new for her,” he said with a laugh. “It’s no (real) treat for her to go to a Mark Bishop concert.”
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