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|Birth name||Kenneth Michael Marks|
November 6, 1950 |
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer, songwriter|
Early life and education
Marks' family came from Yugoslavia with the surname Mrakovich, but his parents changed to the name Marks three months before he was born. Growing up in Detroit, Marks studied classical piano and learned to play guitar at age 13. He graduated from Messiah College in Philadelphia in 1971.
Marks began performing for Billy Graham's Afterglow Concert Series. In 1981 he participated in a project called "Premiere Performance" by Myrrh Records, an album with songs by various artists and an invitation for buyers to vote for their favorite who would then be offered a full contract with the Christian recording label. Marks' was the fans choice.
Marks' first album Follow Him was released on Myrrh Records in 1982. With his second album, 1984's Right Where You Are, he began to find his own definitive style as an artist and fulfil his desire to sing about relationships.
Jeannie and Johnny, a fictitious Franklin High School couple created by Marks, appear on his albums Attitude (1985) and Make It Right (1987). In the song, "Growing Up Too Fast" they are two individual kids dealing separately with emotions and impulses. In "The Party's Over, they meet at a party and get together in the back seat of Johnny's car, resulting in a pregnancy that robs them of their carefree teenage lifestyle. On the album Another Friday Night, with the song, "Next Time You See Johnny", Johnny has left Jeannie with their son, who is who's old enough to hurt over Daddy's leaving, and innocent enough to hold forgiveness in his heart for Johnny. "Fire of Forgiveness" is the fourth and final song, a reflection of Johnny looking back on his life.
The song "Say a Prayer for Me Tonight" reflects on a true story when a young man named Richard talked to Marks after a concert in Philadelphia on his Make It Right tour and asked Marks to pray for him and then shared some songs he had written. Three weeks later, Marks learned that Richard had committed suicide.
"White Dress", which began as a song for Marks' daughter Allegra on her first birthday, tells the story of a girl growing up, abandoned by her father, and then becoming a mother herself.
Marks was married to Pamela Marks, who co-wrote some of his songs, for twenty-four years. They divorced in 1997.
- Follow Him 1982
- Right Where You Are 1983
- Attitude 1985
- Make It Right 1987
- Another Friday Night 1990
- Fire of Forgiveness 1992
- Absolutely Positively 1994
- World Gone Mad 1995
- Vink, Jan Willem (1 November 1990). "Kenny Marks: The Detroit born pop rocker making a mark in Nashville". Cross Rhythms Magazine.
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