Over his career, singer/songwriter Mark Gray endured many good and the bad. He was created in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the youngest of seven kids. His mother passed away when he was two, and he grew up on Lookout Hill, Georgia by his aunt and uncle. It had been there that he started performing gospel music and discovered to try out piano. He came back to his father’s 250-acre Mississippi plantation when he was 15 and afterwards became a finalist in the Ted Mack Beginner Hour. He also started singing industrial jingles. In 1972, Grey was selling areas for an R&B radio place while singing using the Revelations, a gospel group he founded, on weekends. The Revelations had been executing in Meridian, Mississippi if they had been spotted from the Oak Ridge Males, who asked Grey to become listed on their publishing organization and appear on the tours. Gray relocated to Nashville, but required a substantial slice in income and spent many impoverished years. He ultimately remaining the Oaks to become listed on another gospel group, the Downings. He became therefore popular that this group terminated him, and came back to Vicksburg, where he performed in Jackson nightclubs. In 1979, his fortune began to switch and he was asked to become listed on Exile. Grey honed his songwriting abilities when not carrying out using the group, and two tunes co-written with J.P. Pennington, “Consider Me Down” (1982) and “The Nearer You Obtain” (1983), became main strikes for Alabama. Grey documented two albums with Exile and continued to be together until 1981, when he remaining to pursue a single career and offer tunes. After Janie Fricke documented his “Dropping Ain’t NOTHING BEATS Losing a pal,” he authorized to Columbia Information. His first single solitary, “If It Ain’t Actual (It Ain’t You),” managed to get to the very best 30 in early 1983; his second work, “Wounded Hearts,” managed to get to the very best 20. Furthermore, performers such as for example Engelbert Humperdinck and Melissa Manchester continuing to record his tunes. In 1984, Grey scored four TOP strikes, including “Gemstone in the Dirt,” from his second recording, This Ol’ Piano. In 1985, he previously two more TOP hits, but inside a 12 months his solo profession had ground to some halt. Grey asked Columbia release a him from his agreement, and continuing to record for impartial labels.