South Bend, Indiana, is not the music capital of the world, nor is it next door to New York or Los Angeles, but Mark Preston never let that stop him. Singing since he was a child, Mark took every opportunity he could to sing for those who would listen and those who believed in his talent.
Growing up in Indiana gave Mark plenty of opportunity to perform and grow with his talent. Starting at the age of 11, Mark carried his singing through school and then decided to enlist. Joining the Air Force was Mark's first stop on his way to being a top performer. His talent earned him accolades when he was selected as the Air Force's finest vocalist of 1975, and then toured with Tops in Blue. This elite group is made up of the Air Force's top 20, most versatile entertainers. During his time in the Air Force, Mark was awarded the American Spirit Honor Medal as well as the Air Force Commendation Medal.
Mark never flew under the radar when it came to his career and talent. Country Music Hall of Famer Tennessee Ernie Ford so aptly put it, "Cock your pistols, there will be no stopping this young man", and there hasn't been.
After his Honorable Discharge from the Air Force and a string of impressive performances at one of Los Angeles' oldest clubs, The Horn, Mark decided to make his next career move to Las Vegas. Mark Preston became a featured performer at The Dunes, The Silverbird, The Marina and The Sahara hotels. Preston also performed on Harrah's stage in Reno and in Lake Tahoe. None of these performances went unnoticed as he continued to receive reviews that described him as "an extraordinary singer, being able to belt out a song, filling you with eye watering emotion". Variety magazine dubbed him "one of the finest entertainers in show business".
The young man from South Bend then found another dimension of his career to expand upon, television. With several appearances on the hit series Vega$, as well as being the stand-in and photo double for the show's star, Robert Urich, Mark went on to do guest appearances on several network specials.
Again, none of this went unnoticed as Mark would find himself moving again for another opportunity to expand his already growing career. Because of his acting on television and his singing, the Indiana native was asked to co-host The Bob Braun Show, a syndicated variety show originating in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mark proved his versatility when he joined the Braun Show. The Bob Braun Show was filmed live each day, and they were known to shoot from different sites in the cities where the show was broadcast. Mark proved to be an all-around entertainer as he interviewed guests on the show, worked in places like the Ohio State Fair and different remote tapings. He sang his heart out for people coming in from the tri-state area to see him perform.
Mark's star was not yet shining bright enough. While he was performing on the Bob Braun Show, he was asked to open for the First Lady of Comedy, Phyllis Diller. "I love to refer to Mark Preston as my protégé", said Ms. Diller. "He has one of the strongest, most beautiful voices I have ever heard. He really gets to an audience. He sings, acts, emotes, is handsome...everything".
Mark's unique talent preceded him again, and he was asked twice to join the world famous recording group, The Lettermen. With the second invitation, Mark accepted, and over the years has helped to lift the trio to the level of success it enjoys today. In 2001, Mark was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to The Lettermen. Recently, Mark was submitted for three Grammy nominations for his recent CD New Directions with the Les Brown Jr. Band of Renown.
Over their lifetime most entertainers wish for one or two breaks in their careers. Mark Preston just keeps on rolling through to yet another project and another success story. Mark is presently working on a project with Ric Steel and Tom Garrett to produce, "Goin' Out Of My Head" A Tribute To The Lettermen. All of these gentlemen are very accomplished, successful solo performers and have been fans of the The Lettermen since the group began. Now, they combine their talents to bring to their fans the romantic sounds of the timeless group, The Lettermen.
The late, great, Tennessee Ernie Ford was right when he spoke of Mark Preston. Today his comment would be "Cock your pistols, there IS no stopping this talented singer".