IN-DEPTH BIO - MAKKY KAYLOR:
Mak "Makky" Kaylor (February 10, 1964) is an independent American classic country-soul artist, songwriter, entertainer and author. Makky's music style is a combination of his Memphis music roots and years spent working behind the scenes for and with some of Nashville's legendary music professionals; a natural blend of classic uptown country and Memphis soul-inspired music. His writings, both literary and musically, reflect sincerity, soul and swanky southern style.
EARLY YEARS IN MEMPHIS
Kaylor first appeared on stage at age 6 and began writing stories and songs by age 8. At age 15, Kaylor and high school friends - guitarist Mark Gillespie (Trace Adkins), guitarist/songwriter Sam Gay (Templeton Thompson) and bassist Steve Arnold (Marty Stuart, Billy Bob Thornton) - formed the band Sundance and played festivals, events and venues throughout Mid-South. At age 18, Mak officially began his studio session singing career and was the commercial jingle voice of various regional companies including Mid-South Fair, ABC affiliate Channel 13 Eyewitness News, Libertyland and more. Kaylor and Gay joined The North Forty Band and eventually became The Mak Kaylor Band continuing to play across the Mid-South. In 1989, Mak moved to Nashville to further his career as a songwriter and artist.
EARLY YEARS IN NASHVILLE
Throughout the 1990s, Mak Kaylor was considered an A-list session singer featured on hundreds of song demos by many of country music's top songwriters including legendary writers Harlan Howard, Randy Goodrum, Pat Alger, many more plus heard on hundreds of commercial jingles for companies across the country including The Grand Ole Opry, Blue Diamond Almonds, Williams Sausage and more. Mak was featured on the movie soundtrack "Just Your Luck" and was the guide vocalist on many Praise Hymn soundtracks and background or lead vocalist on other albums.
Kaylor became a prolific Nashville songwriter in the 1990s with songs recorded by an array of artists in various genres (John Conlee, Larry Gatlin, Larnelle Harris, The Florida Boys, Jim Nabors, more). Mak signed with various top music publishers in the 1990s-2000s including Acuff-Rose, Talbot Music, Warner Brothers and Magnet Music. He now owns and operates his own publishing company Ol' Lucy Brown Music (BMI). Mak's recordings of his own songs and those of other songwriters soon caught the attention of music industry executives which lead to recordings for various productions and labels including Sony Productions, Magnet Music and IdealMusic.
DRAMATIC PERSONAL STORY
In 2001, Mak's heart was diagnosed at a pumping capacity (EF) of 20% and three times enlarged. He underwent a complicated open-heart surgery having his aortic valve replaced; an experience that challenged and deepened Mak emotionally, physically and spiritually. "I write, live and love with a sense of urgency as never before," Kaylor was quoted. Upon awakening after almost a full day after his surgery, Mak uttered the words "We're going to have a baby girl" to family and nursing staff. "They thought it was the morphine talking" says Kaylor with a laugh. Sure enough, Mak's wife LeAnn was already expecting their "baby girl" after 16 years of marriage but they had no idea at the time of the hospital bed announcement! "It's an amazing story and I'll never underestimate what God can do" Kaylor says.
By 2002, Mak was back on his feet and signed as a writer-artist with Grammy winner Larry Gatlin's and producer Terry Choate's company Magnet Music. He wrote and recorded a duet with Gatlin featured on a live DVD filmed at the Ryman Auditorium, the Gatlin Brothers Christmas CD "Christmastime with the Gatlins" (Magnet Music/Intersound) and Kaylor's "Glad Tidings" CD (www.CDBaby.com). Kaylor was also featured on Jeff Foxworthy's radio show that year with another song from his CD.
In 2006, Kaylor authored "Confessions Of A Session Singer" for the Hal Leonard Corporation/Backbeat Books. The book is "an entertaining and educational look at what it takes to obtain and maintain a career as a studio professional from the vantage point of a seasoned and successful session singer." The book is sold on Amazon.com and in various colleges with music business programs. Kaylor has since penned an autobiographical book of his heart's story both physically and spiritually to encourage others to learn from their own heart's story and continues to write more books today.
In 2007-2008, Mak (who began using the stage name "Makky" to avoid the 'Mak or Mark?' confusion) starred as Judas Iscariot in the $15 million musical "The Miracle" at The Miracle Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN where he also took up residence.
Returning to the Nashville area in 2009, Makky took on a number of writing and business projects. In 2011 he recorded a Memphis inspired album of original songs entitled "Decidedly Blue" (never officially released). In December of 2012, Kaylor recorded an album of 'uptown country classics' called "A Little Sentimental" (Vision Records-Nashville) showcasing songs and stories of legendary artists primarily from the 1960s.
Makky currently plays venues, theatres, and events across the United States often taking his full band 'The Swanky South Players' or varying size ensembles from the band or plays solo dates. The shows delight audiences with his fresh natural blend of classic uptown country and Memphis soul-inspired music. Makky recently appeared in a Civil War era film called "Clarissa's War" (Reel Cool Films) and plans to do more film work. A documentary is being filmed highlighting Makky's work and featuring Collin Raye, Mark Chestnutt and music execs.
Makky Kaylor's inimitable smooth country-soul vocal styling and songs continues to be the common thread in all of his music. A compilation of favorites from previous projects is in the works as well as brand new songs and stories.