Mark Alan Lowry (born June 24, 1958) is a Christian comedian, songwriter, and singer, best known for his song ???Mary, Did You Know????. Lowry performed with the Gaither Vocal Band from 1988-2001 and has recently re-joined along with other "GVB" alumni Michael English and David Phelps. Lowry has recorded twelve albums, both music and comedy.
Lowry was born in Houston, Texas to Charles, an attorney, and Beverly Lowry. He often uses anecdotes of his young life in his comedy, as well as speaking of his experience with hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder in his performances. Lowry is the self-described ???Poster Boy for Hyperactivity.???
When I was a kid, my hyperactivity was always getting me into trouble. Most people figured I would grow up to be a criminal. A little voice inside me convinced me I was a failure, that I would never amount to anything. I had what's known today as A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder). Back then, they called it B.R.A.T.
While attending Liberty Baptist College (now known as Liberty University), Lowry joined a college evangelistic team and began singing. Lowry's comedy career inadvertently began from here. There would be an elongated pause in his singing performance while he waited for the soundtrack to be changed. Lowry began to fill this pause with a monologue. Lowry soon realized that the audiences at his performances were laughing not at him but at his monologues.
Here would come Mr. Serious in a polyester suit and vest singing a soft, slow song that practically put an audience into a coma. Who expected humor to be coming next? Soon, my singing was just an act that I used to lull folks before I zinged 'em.
In 1978, Lowry was badly injured in an car accident near Carlisle, PA, while touring with a college evangelistic team. He sustained eleven broken bones, and spent a good deal of time in physical therapy recovering from the accident.
Mary, Did You Know?
In 1984, Lowry was asked to write a script for a church Christmas play. Lowry wrote a series of questions that he would like to ask Mary, the mother of Jesus. These questions were used in between the scenes of the play. Six years later, Buddy Greene wrote the music; thus, the Christmas play script became the song.
The song has become a popular Christmas song performed by more than thirty artists including, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna Judd, Michael English, and Natalie Cole, among others.
The Gaither Vocal Band
I didn't even know Bill Gaither. I don't even know how he got my number. But I'm sure glad he did. He asked me if I would like to join the Gaither Vocal Band. And I knew Bill Gaither discovered Sandi Patty. Bill Gaither discovered Larnelle Harris. Bill Gaither discovered Steve Green. And the list goes on and on. He asked me if I'd like to join the Vocal Band. I said 'Does Billy Graham have a quiet time? You bet your sweet bippy!' I didn't tell him that I can't read music - I didn't think that that was the time to bring that up. And I didn't tell him that I had never sung baritone before - I didn't want to bring that up either. But I went and auditioned and he asked me if I would like to join the group.
???Mark Lowry, Remotely Controlled
In 1988, Lowry was approached by Bill Gaither and asked to join the Gaither Vocal Band as the baritone. Lowry's career with the Gaither Vocal Band spanned thirteen years during his first stint with the group. During this time Lowry's on-stage antics became popular with audiences. As a result, Lowry became the co-host of the many concerts and shows performed by Gaither and the Vocal Band with Gaither playing the straight man to Lowry's antics.
In June 2001, Lowry resigned from the Gaither Vocal Band after performing longer with the group than any previous member except Bill Gaither himself.
On January 14, 2009, it was announced that Lowry would be returning to the Gaither Vocal Band.
Lowry's first video was Mark Lowry: My First Comedy Video made in 1988. Next, he made Mark Lowry: The Last Word in 1992 at the Tivoli Theatre in Chattanooga, TN. Next, he taped Mark Lowry: Mouth in Motion in 1993 at Carpenter's Home Church in Lakeland, Florida. Then, after that, he made Mark Lowry: Remotely Controlled in 1995. Mark Lowry On Broadway was performed and captured to DVD at the Beacon Theatre in NYC in 2000, and Mark Lowry Goes to Hollywood was performed and captured to DVD at the Cerritos Center in Cerritos, CA, in January 2005.
Lowry continues to tour the United States performing his music and comedy concerts as well as recording music and comedy CD albums and videos. In addition, Lowry records and publishes several iPod podcasts; in particular, Saturdays with Mark and Tony, a weekly podcast with Tony Campolo. Lowry is also co-hosting "Bill Gaither's Homecoming Radio" with Bill Gaither and Phil Brower.
Lowry is single and has no children. He has two siblings - an older brother Mike of Lynchburg, Virginia and a younger sister, Melissa also of Lynchburg. He refers to his siblings as "perfect" at different times ("my older brother Mike, who is perfect... Melissa came along and she was perfect, too...") He also has three nieces and two nephews.