Mark Connors' Biography

Mark Connors was born March 14 in New York City; however, Tucson, Arizona was home for the majority of his school years, where a favorite past-time was exploring the desert, hunting and camp outs on his own. He was playing guitar and performing at age seven, and hosted his school radio station in 6th Grade, so there was little doubt where he was headed.

Mark’s family boasts three generations in the entertainment industry. They include actors, a film director and his grandfather, Louie Bond (aka Johnny Guitar), no stranger to early Hollywood who greatly encouraged his music career.   He fondly recalls playing around the Hollywood sets with two cousins who were child actors. At age 10 he was in the movie, “The Black Gun”, starring football star Jim Brown.  Actress Mary Pickford, who was a friend of his grandfather’s, gave Mark a ring of hers to give to his own true love when he grew up.

Mark was not, however, a child of privilege….quite to the contrary. His own horrific childhood experiences fire his abiding dedication today to support youth in crisis programs through his benefit concerts.  Shuffled from foster home to foster home by age four, Mark suffered neglect and cruelty before he was at last placed in a loving home. Scars on his back from a horse whipping serve to remind him of what helpless children can be forced to endure.

Reunited with his family at age 10 proved a brief respite. His controlling step-father threw him out and banned him from home and family, based solely on Mark’s determination to make music his career. At 12, young Mark found himself on the streets without shelter or money, with only the clothes on his back and the guitar his step-father broke to offer him solace. Cold, hungry and frightened, he talks of walking the streets night after night with no place to go and finally building a make-shift fort in an alley for refuge.

Yet Mark’s challenging background makes his accomplishments and moral values even more significant. He talks regularly with troubled kids in shelters to offer them hope and encouragement, thereby honoring a promise he made to God. While eating from a cold can of beans he had been forced to steal out of hunger, Mark vowed that when he grew up, he would do everything in his power to help kids like . (Years later, he returned to the same market where he stole food to make amends.)  Mark recalls, "I basically raised myself."

Even as a teen, Mark was displaying his life-long desire to help others by serving on an Arizona search and rescue team,  He continued to rise above the cards life dealt him through sheer determination.  He was writing songs and fronting his own band, Black Diamonds, in his teens, attracting 2,000-3,000 fans. By graduation, he had mastered the guitar, drums, bass guitar and piano, and was backing vocals.

Mark made a living promoting large concerts by the time he was 20, until tapped by a Young Americans talent scout and chosen to front the rock group, Freedom Jam, backed by American Showcase. Mark toured the country, playing to over one million high school students as part of his long-term plan to market and hone his stage skills.

During the 80’s, Mark fronted the band Victory, managed by Elton John’s manager, Charley Murdock. He also hosted “Rocks” TV show where he interviewed rock stars Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, Ted Nugent, FireHouse Band, and others.

His big change from rock to country came in 1999 when he penned a song that attracted Nashville’s attention. “The song just didn’t have heart until it came out country,” says Mark. He has since recorded several albums, received significant awards, and has been interviewed and performed on radio and television.

He has been recognized by the North American Country Music Association International with their Most Promising Album of the Year award for his first album; California Country Music Association’s Song of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year; KIKS FM Los Angeles country music radio station’s Artist of the Month Award, which was shared with Vince Gill, Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks and nine other country stars.

Mark has appeared on stage with Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry, Randy Owens, Earl Scruggs, Jewell, Chris Young, Terri Clark and Mark Chestnutt, and joined in the celebration of Jimmy Dickens’ 83rd birthday on stage with Dickens and Porter Wagoner at the Grand Ole Opry. He has performed at the Country Music Hall of Fame Lounge with other country stars and was interviewed by Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet at the CMA Awards. 

Mark produces and stars in the on-line show “Road Stars" where he interviews some of Nashville’s biggest stars. Country Stars On-line, which selected Mark as its official video host, airs the show. He has appeared in TV interviews with such celebrities as Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Sammy Hager, Chris Young, Montgomery Gentry, Lone Star, Tracy Lawrence, Jimmy Wayne, REO Speed Wagon and others.

Mark says his biggest honor, however, was performing for 7,500 of our troops aboard the USS J.C. Stennis Aircraft Carrier in Iraq. He was also invited in 2007 to host and sing on Norway’s equivalent of America’s TV show, “The Bachelor”. He has appeared in People Magazine’s Country Special, Country Weekly Magazine, in CMT Magazine, and is featured on CMT’s compilation of songs with Johnny Cash, Emerson Drive and Jimmy Wayne, another honor he treasures.

Mark released his 12-track album, “It’s All About the Country” on his birthday in 2010, and has recorded a second "six-pack" album titled, "I'm Broken In So Bring It On."  He continue to work in the studio on three singles to be released July 4, 2011.  He also produces and directs music videos.

Mark Connors is a true cowboy. He can break and train, as well as rope, horses and has worked at several large dude ranches, primarily as guest host and entertainer.

Martial arts are a big part of his life. Mark is a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo, and is a member of the World Black Belt Bureau. He was the 1986 Arizona State Champion in the Fighting Division and has owned a number of martial arts studios over the years. Martial arts skills enabled Mark to train and qualify as a body guard. He owned his own body guard service and worked for actor Flip Wilson for two years. He also trained the stand-in for actor Chuck Norris and was in the movie “Top Dog” in which Norris starred.

Mark rides his motorcycles often and was racing motorcycles by junior high school. A huge Evil Knievel fan, Mark emulated one of his stunts, jumping his bike across 12 cars, his all time best effort. He was also a stunt man at Old Tucson where he performed such stunts as roof falls, gun fights and the full body fire walk.

In his leisure, Mark enjoys motorcycle and horseback riding, snow and water skiing, boating, playing golf and riding off-road vehicles. Sitting around a bonfire playing his guitar and watching the fire flies is a favorite form of summer time relaxation, especially when preceded by a porter house steak on the barbeque.   

A spiritual man, Mark prays before every show and thanks God often for the many blessings he has known and the blessings that continue in his life.