In 1997, Gil Grand signed a music publishing deal with “TMP” out of Toronto Canada headed by Frank Davies and moved to Nashville. Within just a few months of his arrival, he secured two cuts, “Love Trip” with Virgin recording artist Jerry Kilgore and “On Again Off Again” with MCA recording artist Tracy Byrd. His songwriting skills and singing ability immediately caught the attention of top record executives, and he soon signed a major U.S. record deal with Sony Music Nashville’s Monument Records. His debut album, Famous First Words, gained the respect and accolades of the country music industry on both sides of the border.
On the strength of that record, Grand received three CCMA nods, including Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and Wrangler Rising Star. His impressive sophomore effort, Burnin, netted him five CCMA nominations, including Single of the Year, Song of the Year, Video of the Year and Album of the Year, with Grand taking home the award for Male Vocalist of the Year. In 2006, Gil Grand released his third album, Somebody’s Someone, which he co-produced with Joel Feeney, earning a CCMA award for Record Producer of the Year.
In October 2007, Grand and business partner Randy Gee launched Grand & Gee Music Group, a Nashville-based music publishing company and full-service recording studio. The company earned CCMA nominations for Music Publisher of the Year in 2009, 2010, 2011and 2012. Bucky Covington brought G&G their first top 30 single with “I Want My Life Back,” and Chris Young’s big number one hit “Tomorrow” became Grand & Gee Music’s first chart topper and SESAC Song of the Year.
Today Gil has a songwriting and publishing partnership with Lorantan Music Inc from Northern Alberta Canada. He continues to be an active songwriter and producer within the Nashville scene generating cuts with Sammy Kershaw and various Canadian recording artists.
It comes as no big surprise to country music listeners that the
writer of Where Corn Don’t Grow, Two Sparrows in a Hurricane, and It Works
comes from a small Arkansas farm community. Although all of Springer’s songs
aren't talking about the farm, most are taken from real life situations. As a
youngster, Springer helped out on the family farm. He says he loved growing
up on the farm but always wondered what else was out there. Years
later Mark enjoyed the success of “Where Corn Don’t Grow” a top five hit by Travis Tritt, which deals with that very subject.
In 1993, Springer’s Two Sparrows in a Hurricane , recorded by
Tanya Tucker, was named one of the top 10 songs of 1993 by TNN’s Music City
News songwriter awards show and the song was also nominated as ACM’s “Song
of the Year”. Springer later scored with the number one hit One Boy,
One Girl recorded by Collin Raye. Then Mark caught the ear of Kenny Chesney , who has recorded five of his tunes including the #1 hit When I Close My Eyes. “Kenny and I phrase a lot alike and he seems to get what I’m trying to say in a
song, “ says Springer. In 1997, Springer landed the number five spot on Music Row Magazine’s list of the year’s top songwriters with the hits When I Close My Eyes,
Where Corn Don’t Grow and Thank God For Believers #1, #3, and #1.
In 1998, Mark landed his 5th number one song with Kenny Chesney’s
version of “That’s Why I’m Here”. “It is the biggest impact song I have ever recorded” Chesney says referring to the song that deals with a recovering alcoholic. Later that year Springer was named BMI’s Country Songwriter of the Year.
Springer gives credit to his co-writers and publishers through the years for helping develop his craft without taking away the raw emotion. Springer started his music venture with MCA’s Tony Brown in 1984 and later signed with Harold Shedd at the Music Mill. Roger Murrah and Tom Collins came in to the picture next. Springer later signed a co-venture with EMI Music Publishing with Gary Overton at the helm. “
I have been fortunate to find the right publisher at the right time during
my career,” says Springer who sold his publishing venture with EMI Music Publishing, which included Shaye Smith a fellow Arkansan as a staff writer.
In 1998 Mark formed MAS Venture Music with friends Gerry and Della Rollins. The venture was originally formed to house long time friend and recording artist Steve Azar. Springer’s company published Azar’s biggest hit “Me Til Monday”. Mark is currently president of Masville Music, a company formed with Springer’s college basketball teammate, Blane Johnson along with a small group of Arkansas friends.
“I like to know what I’m writing about or to at least be in touch with the emotion in the song. “ Most of the songs I’ve had recorded have been written about me or someone close to me”. “ I don’t write as many songs as most writers, so when I do write, I try to write something I feel strongly about” says Springer. “ I have three daughters (Colyn-17, Haven-21, Alli -24), a 4 year old son (Knox) a19 year old step son (Logan), a 17 year old step daughter (Lexie), a wonderful wife (Stacey), two dogs, a small farm, and I coach girls basketball. That’s a lot of songwriting material.”
As President of the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International, Springer led a group of songwriters to Washington D.C. to meet with several Congress and Senate members on behalf of songwriter rights. Springer served NSAI (nations largest songwriter organization) as president for two years. As Nashville Songwriter’s Foundation Board Chairman, Springer signed the original agreement with Belmont University to establish a partnership that would eventually create a songwriting degree for the college as well as a songwriter’s hall of fame.
In recent months, Springer has started “Springer Ink”, a company that allows Mark to incorporate his songwriter talents with his marketing degree. Springer Ink works with various businesses and organizations to help create image and messaging campaigns. The company produces both video and audio products for client’s use in reaching their target markets via TV, Radio and Social Media. “I love the opportunity to combine my experience in music and marketing to tell the client’s story in an effort to connect with their target audiences. There seems to be a need for a company willing to spend the time with the client in an effort to create a unique message at a reasonable price
Springer also continues to tell the stories and perform the hits at house concerts, benefits, and private functions. The “bare bones” acoustic show continues to be a rare and memorable event.
1998 RPM Male Vocalist of the Year Award
• 1999 CCMA Album of the Year nominee
CCMA Male Vocalist of the Year nominee
CCMA Wrangler Rising Star Award
• 2003 CCMA Independent Male artist of the Year
CCMA Single of the Year “Cry A Little”
CCMA Socan Song of the Year “Cry A Little”
CCMA CMT Video of they Year “Cry A Little”
CCMA Best Album Graphics
• 2004 CCMA Video of the Year
CCMA Socan Song of the Year
CCMA Independent Male Artist of the Year
• 2005 CCMA Independent Male Artist of the Year
• The Producer:
• 2006 CCMA Record Producer of the Year Recipient
• 2003 Burnin’ – 5 CCMA Awards
• 2006 Somebody’s Someone
• 2010 Jake Mathews “If I Had My Way” number 7 BDS chart
The Music Publisher:
• 2009 CCMA Music Publisher of the Year nominee
• 1010 CCMA Music Publisher of the Year nominee
• 2011 CCMA Music Publisher of the Year nominee
• 2012 CCMA Music Publisher of the Year nominee
• Number One Hit with “Tomorrow” recorded by Chris Young
• Sesac Song of the Year for “Tomorrow” recorded by Chris Young
Love Trip Jerry Kilgore
Groove - Sammy Kershaw
On Again Off Again - Tracy Byrd
Hurtin’ Me Back - Gord Bamford top 10 Canada
16 top 20 Radio singles including #3 Famous First Words
Award winning songwriters helping you write the perfect song for your special moment