User Tools

This is an old revision of the document!

Mark Heard

Americana / Folk / Rock
Glendale, California, USA

John Mark Heard III (December 16, 1951 – August 16, 1992) was an American record producer, folk rock singer, and songwriter originally from Macon, Georgia, United States. Heard released 16 albums, and produced and performed with many other artists as well, such as Sam Phillips (a.k.a. Leslie Phillips), Pierce Pettis, Phil Keaggy, Vigilantes of Love, Peter Buck of R.E.M. (who co-produced VOL's album Killing Floor with Heard), John Austin, The Choir, Randy Stonehill, and Michael Been of The Call. Heard produced part of Olivia Newton-John's The Rumor, which also included a cover of Heard's own “Big and Strong” (originally called “How to Grow Up Big and Strong”).

Mark Heard's first musical musical project was a folk rock band called Infinity+3. They released one album independently called Setting Yesterday Free in 1970. It was re-released on Spirit Records in 1972. Mark Heard played guitar, harmonica, and bass guitar, provided vocals, and wrote 5 of the 11 songs.

After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1974 with an ABJ (Bachelor of Arts in Journalism) degree in television, Heard traveled to Switzerland to study at L'Abri under the influential evangelical Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer. Singers Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill stumbled onto Mark one day playing his guitar. Because Norman and Stonehill expressed interest, Heard spent most of his spare time the next two months putting together a demo tape in a local studio with the help of the Pat Terry group (Pat Terry, Sonny Lallerstedt, and Randy Bugg). Norman was so impressed by Heard's abilities that he soon signed him to his record label, Solid Rock Records. Heard and his wife Janet moved to Glendale, California in 1977 to begin work on his Appalachian Melody album for the label, but would also maintain a close relationship with the people at the L'Abri for years. Heard would also record and release Fingerprint on a Swiss label in 1980.

In 1981, Heard began a recording contract with Chris Christian's Home Sweet Home Records. Although Mark's sales did not attract attention from the major Christian labels, Christian felt Mark's music was unique and fresh and deserved to be heard and funded his projects with no production oversight, which is what Mark wanted. His signing to the label was a departure from the commercial artists that Chris traditionally signed and produced on the Home Sweet Home label. Heard released five albums for the label; 1981's Stop the Dominoes, 1982's Victims of the Age; 1983's Eye of the Storm; 1984's Ashes and Light; and 1985's Mosaics. The overall experience was not one that Heard enjoyed, partly due to his personal experiences with record company executives, and partly due to compromises he felt under pressure to make in order to make himself and his songs more marketable to Christian audiences. In 1984, Heard began recording in his home studio, which he dubbed “Fingerprint Recorders,” after the title of one of his earlier records. From that point on, his albums were largely made at home, with just a handful of friends and relatives lending a hand. In 1986, Heard decided to try something a little different and recorded the experimental Pop/Rock album for What? Records entitled Tribal Opera, under the name iDEoLA. When asked about the unusual name, Heard replied “It's not supposed to be mysterious or anything; I just put a band together and right now I happen to be the only one in it.” Heard also directed a music video for the single of that album, “Is It Any Wonder”.

With assistance from Dan Russell and Chuck Long, Fingerprint Records and studio were born. Heard began to produce albums for a number of artists including two albums for Randy Stonehill, Jacob’s Trouble, Pierce Pettis, The Lucky Stiffs, and 1992's Vigilantes of Love album, Killing Floor, which he co-produced with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck. Stonehill's Until We Have Wings includes a song co-written by Heard, “Faithful”, although the CD liner notes credit the song to Heard's pseudonym, Giovanni Audiori. In 1988 Heard collaborated with Randy Stonehill and other well known artists on Phil Keaggy and Sunday's Child. In addition to writing and performing credits, he helped with the engineering.

The early 1990s saw a return to recording albums of his own, with 1990's Dry Bones Dance. Fans and reviewers alike hailed the new release as one of the best of his career. Heard followed Dry Bones Dance with Second Hand in 1991, and, finally, Satellite Sky in 1992, which would turn out to be his final release.

On July 4, 1992, Heard had a heart attack on stage while performing with Pierce Pettis and Kate Miner at the Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, IL, near Peoria. Heard finished his set and went to the hospital immediately afterwards. Two weeks after being released from the hospital, Heard went into cardiac arrest and died on August 16 of 1992. Before Heard's death, he had been included on the Legacy II sampler from Windham Hill's High Street label, and was nearly finalizing a mainstream contract with Bruce Cockburn's label, True North Records in Canada. There was also interest from Sony's Columbia Records label for distribution in the US.


1975 Mark Heard Mark Heard Airborn Records
1978 Mark Heard On Turning to Dust [re-issue] AB Records
1979 Mark Heard Appalachian Melody Solid Rock Records
1980 Mark Heard Fingerprint King's / Palmfrond Records
1981 Mark Heard Stop the Dominoes Home Sweet Home Records
1982 Mark Heard Victims of the Age Home Sweet Home Records
1983 Mark Heard Eye of the Storm Home Sweet Home Records / Myrrh Records
1984 Mark Heard Ashes and Light Home Sweet Home Records / Myrrh Records
1985 Mark Heard Mosaics Home Sweet Home Records / Myrrh Records
1987 iDEoLA Tribal Opera What? Records
1989? Mark Heard Demo Stuff
1990 Mark Heard Dry Bones Dance Fingerprint Records
1991 Mark Heard Second Hand Fingerprint Records
1992 Mark Heard Satellite Sky Fingerprint Records

Mark Heard

1975 Airborn Records (751005)

Mark Heard – Guitars, vocals, piano, synthesizer, and hambone
Earl Grigsby – Bass guitar
Frank Godby – Banjo
John Heinrich – Pedal steel guitar
Chuck Long – Sandblocks
Jim Pennington – Percussion
Dave Aldrich – String arrangement
Lamay String Quartet – String section

  1. On Turning to Dust (4:20)
  2. Dinner at Grandma's (2:45)
  3. Cabin in Gloryland (1:10)
  4. A Friend (2:57)
  5. Lullabye (3:20)
  6. Solid Rock (2:25)
  7. To Diane (3:07)
  8. Interlude (traditional: Greensleeves & There is a Fountain) (0:45)
  9. The Road (4:50)
  10. Interlude (Traditional: Passion Chorale) (0:42)
  11. All (3:50)

On Turning to Dust

1978 AB Records (AB 778)
1998 Fingerprint Records (FPCD19982)

Re-issue of Mark Heard

Appalachian Melody

1978 Solid Rock Records (SRA 2009)

Mark Heard – Acoustic and electric guitars, piano, mandolin, hambone, vocals, harmonies, arranging, co-producer, mixing, photography, album artwork
Larry Norman – Background vocals, producer, arranger, photography, album artwork
Randy Stonehill – Background vocals
Tom Howard – Fender Rhodes, orchestration
Jon Linn – Lead guitar
Flim Johnson – Bass guitar
Peter Johnson – Drums

Al Perkins – Pedal steel guitar, dobro
Chuck Long – Electric and acoustic guitars, additional photography
Alex MacDougall – Percussion and congas
Janet Sue Heard – Harmony, additional photography

  1. On the Radio (3:41)
  2. Castaway (3:30)
  3. Bless My Soul (4:08)
  4. Here I Am (Once Again) (4:41)
  5. With the Setting Sun (1:47)
  6. Appalachian Melody (4:25)
  7. Happy Cornbread Anniversary (0:48)
  8. Two Trusting Jesus (4:18)
  9. Jonah's Song (5:30)
  10. Sidewalk Soliloquy (3:22)
  11. The Last Time (3:19)
  12. The Saints (0:27)
2009 Re-issue Bonus Tracks
  1. Bless My Soul (demo) (3:28)
  2. Appalachian Melody (demo) (4:02)
  3. Happy Cornbread Anniversary (demo) (0:34)
  4. Two Trusting Jesus (demo) (2:06)
  5. Jonah's Song (demo) (3:37)
  6. The Saints (demo) (0:46)
  7. Saints are Singin' (demo) (2:25)


1980 King's / Palmfrond Records (PALM 10010)
1995 Via Records (VRD6023)

Mark Heard - Lead vocals, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, slide guitar, mandolin, synthesizer, percussion, backing vocals
Jon Linn - Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lead vocals, slide guitar
Tom Howard - Piano, synthesizer
Peter Johnson - Drums

Produce by Mark Heard

  1. I'm in Chains (3:30)
  2. Nowadays (3:25)
  3. One More Time (3:03)
  4. Epistle (2:57)
  5. Just the Same (3:16)
  6. Well-Worn Pages (2:48)
  7. Gimme Mine (3:51)
  8. All the Sleepless Dreamers (3:33)
  9. Negative Charge (3:58)
  10. Brown-Eyed Sue (3:20)
  11. Es Tut Mir Leid (2:04)
  12. Remarks to Mr. McLuhan (2:02)
  13. Threefold Amen (2:10)

Stop the Dominoes

1981 Home Sweet Home Records (R2101)

Mark Heard - Lead vocals, electric guitar, lead guitar, slide guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Tony Eisenbarger - Electric guitar
John Patitucci - Bass
Tom Howard - Keyboards
Alex MacDougall - Percussion

Buddy Spicher - Fiddle Karl Denson - Saxophone
Sonny Garrish - Pedal steel
Dave De Coup Crank - Backing vocals
Larry Norman - Backing vocals
Leslie Phillips - Backing vocals
Little Bobby Emmons - Backing vocals
Randy Stonehill - Backing vocals

Produced by Mark Heard

  1. One of the Dominoes (4:23)
  2. Stranded at the Station (3:30)
  3. You Could Lie to Me (4:02)
  4. One Night Stand (2:52)
  5. I'm Crying Again (3:29)
  6. Stuck in the Middle (4:39)
  7. Call Me the Fool (3:11)
  8. I'm In Chains (3:25)
  9. Lonely One (4:35)
  10. To See Your Face (3:31)

Victims of the Age

1982 Home Sweet Home Records (R2107)

Mark Heard - Lead vocals, electric guitar, lead guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals, percussion, harmonica, accordion, mandolin
Billy Batstone - Bass
Tom Howard - Keyboards
Carl Pickhard - Keyboards
John Mehler - Drums

Harry Stinson - Tambourine, shaker
Billy Batstone - Backing vocals
Larry Norman - Backing vocals
Leslie Phillips - Backing vocals

Produced by Mark Heard

  1. Victims of the Age (3:14)
  2. City Life Won't Let Up (3:40)
  3. Faces in Cabs (3:22)
  4. Nothing is Bothering Me (4:22)
  5. Some Folks' World (4:32)
  6. Growing Up Blind (4:57)
  7. Dancing at the Policeman's Ball (3:53)
  8. Everybody Loves a Holy War (4:24)
  9. Heart of Hearts (3:14)

Eye of the Storm

1983 Home Sweet Home Records / Myrrh Records (MSB-6741)

Mark Heard - Lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lead guitar, slide guitar, bass, drums, accordion, mandolin, harmonica, xylophone, percussion
Dave De Coup Crank - Backing vocals
Al Perkins - Pedal steel guitar
Brandon Fields - Saxophone
Tom Howard - Synthesizers, Fender Rhodes
Phil Madeira - Synthesizers, Fender Rhodes
Harry Stinson - Tambourine, shaker, percussion

Produced by Mark Heard

  1. Eye of the Storm (3:00)
  2. The Pain That Plagues Creation (3:57)
  3. Castaway (3:16)
  4. Well-Worn Pages (2:44)
  5. He Will Listen to You (2:58)
  6. In the Gaze of the Spotlight's Eye (3:59)
  7. Gimme Mine (3:33)
  8. These Plastic Halos (3:02)
  9. No One But You (2:27)
  10. Moonflower (2:24)

Ashes and Light

1984 Home Sweet Home Records / Myrrh Records (SPCN 7-01-679706-6)

Mark Heard - Lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, accordion, backing vocals, twelve-string guitar, bass guitar, synthesizer
Bill Batstone - Bass guitar
Dave McSparran - Drums

Pat Terry - Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synthesizer
Dori Howard - Backing vocals
Dave De Coup Crank - Backing vocals
David Mansfield - Fiddle, dobro, lead guitar
Carl Pickhardt - Hammond
Harry Stinson - Percussion
Tom Howard - Synthesizer

Produced by Mark Heard

  1. The Winds of Time (3:56)
  2. True Confessions (3:30)
  3. I Know What It's Like to Be Loved (3:34)
  4. Washed to the Sea (3:18)
  5. We Believe So Well (3:26)
  6. Straw Men (3:57)
  7. Age of the Broken Heart (4:13)
  8. Can't See Light (4:56)
  9. Threw It Away (4:00)
  10. In Spite of Himself (3:05)


1985 Home Sweet Home Records / Myrrh Records (SPCN 7-01-680006-7)

Mark Heard - Lead vocals, backing vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, lead guitar, bass
Harry Stinson - Percussion, Simmons drums

Billy Batstone - Bass
John Mehler - Drums
David McSparran - Simmons drums
Buddy Rufus Greene - Harmonica
David Mansfield - Lead guitar
Barry Miller Kaye - Organ
Tom Howard - Synthesizer
Dave De Coup Crank - Backing vocals
Dori Howard - Backing vocals
Leslie Phillips - Backing vocals

Produced by Mark Heard

  1. With Broken Wings (4:23)
  2. Schizophrenia (3:48)
  3. All is Not Lost (3:05)
  4. Heart on the Line (4:08)
  5. He Plays the Game (3:20)
  6. The Golden Age (4:08)
  7. The Power of Love (3:42)
  8. I Want You (4:04)
  9. It Will Not Be Like This Forever (4:18)
  10. Miracle (4:58)

Tribal Opera

1987 What? Records (7-01-684906-6)

Mark Heard - All instruments, lead vocals, backing vocals

David Baker - Drums
Dan Michaels - Drums
David McSparran - Drums
Doug Matthews - Drums
Steve Hindalong - Drums

Produced by Mark Heard

  1. I am an Emotional Man (4:29)
  2. Is It Any Wonder (3:49)
  3. Watching the Ship Go Down (3:52)
  4. Talk to Me (3:48)
  5. Go Ask the Dead Man (3:51)
  6. Love is Bigger Than Life (3:36)
  7. How to Grow Up Big and Strong (5:06)
  8. Everybody Dances (4:07)
  9. Why Can't We Just Say No (4:23)
  10. Hold Back Your Tears (3:46)

Demo Stuff

1989? Independent

Mark Heard – Vocals, guitars, other instruments?

  1. Lonely Road
  2. House of Broken Dreams
  3. Nobody’s Looking
  4. All She Wanted Was Love
  5. Look Over Your Shoulder
  6. It Will Rise
  7. Our Restless Hearts

Dry Bones Dance

1990 Fingerprint Records (9001 FCD)

Mark Heard - Lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals, accordion, harmonica, kalimba, backing vocals
David Birmingham - Drums

Fergus Jemison Marsh - Chapman stick
Doug Berch - Hammered dulcimer
Byron Berline - Fiddle, mandolin
Michael Been - Guitar solo
Novi - Viola Jerry Chamberlain - Backing vocals
Pam Dwinell - Backing vocals
Sam Phillips - Backing vocals
Sharon McCall - Backing vocals

Produced by Mark Heard

  1. Rise From the Ruins (3:02)
  2. The Dry Bones Dance (3:46)
  3. House of Broken Dreams (4:11)
  4. Our Restless Hearts (3:42)
  5. Nobody's Looking (3:26)
  6. All She Wanted Was Love (4:19)
  7. Strong Hand of Love (3:03)
  8. How Many Tears (2:58)
  9. Lonely Road (4:12)
  10. Waiting for a Reason (3:30)
  11. Everything is Alright (4:24)
  12. Awake in the Nightime (3:29)
  13. Mercy of the Flame (4:58)
  14. Fire (7:13)

Second Hand

1991 Fingerprint Records (9102 FCD)

Mark Heard - Lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, hammond, accordion, mandolin, harmonica
Bill Batstone - Acoustic bass guitar, electric bass
Glen Holmen - Stand-up bass, electric bass
David Raven - Drums
Steve Hindalong - Drums

Pam Dwinell-Miner - Backing vocals
Fergus Jemison Marsh - Chapman stick
Doug Atwell - Fiddle
Greg Liesz - Pedal steel guitar, dobro
David Baker - Percussion

Produced by Mark Heard

  1. Nod Over Coffee (4:38)
  2. Lonely Moon (4:54)
  3. Worry Too Much (4:13)
  4. Look Over Your Shoulder (3:29)
  5. She Don't Have a Clue (3:47)
  6. Talking in Circles (4:05)
  7. Love is Not the Only Thing (4:58)
  8. I Just Wanna Get Warm (3:53)
  9. Another Good Lie (5:39)
  10. All Too Soon (3:57)
  11. It's Not Your Fault (3:23)
  12. I'm Looking Through You (3:40)
  13. What Kind of Friend (2:42)
  14. The Ways of Men (5:07)

Satellite Sky

1992 Fingerprint Records (FLD9751)

Mark Heard - Lead vocals, electric steel mandolin, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, acoustic mandolin, hammond, accordion, harmonica
Michael Been - Bass
David Miner - Standup bass
David Raven - Drums

Fergus Jemison Marsh - Chapman stick
Doug Berch - Hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer
Buddy Miller - Electric guitar
Jack Sherman - Electric guitar
Mark Goldenberg - Electric guitar
Jim Goodwin - Horns
David Baker - African percussion Dan Russell - Backing vocals
Joel Russell - Backing vocals
Pam Dwinell-Miner - Backing vocals
Sam Phillips - Backing vocals

Produced by Mark Heard

  1. Tip of My Tongue (4:22)
  2. Satellite Sky (3:48)
  3. Big Wheels Roll (4:02)
  4. Orphans of God (6:22)
  5. Another Day in Limbo (4:31)
  6. Language of Love (4:06)
  7. Freighttrain to Nowhere (4:30)
  8. Long Way Down (4:42)
  9. A Broken Man (5:42)
  10. Love is So Blind (3:15)
  11. Hammers and Nails (4:41)
  12. We Know Too Much (5:58)
  13. Lost on Purpose (4:20)
  14. Nothing but the Wind (3:31)
  15. Treasure of the Broken Land (6:21)