Born and raised in Granite City, Illinois to a steel worker and a stay at home mother, Mark still lives in his home town. He graduated Granite City High School -South in 1979 and shortly after married his high school sweetheart Mary Earney. Mark and Mary have two grown children and three grandchildren. They are still married and still very much in love. Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2008, Mark retired from his long career as a structural draftsman and started Single Rose Studio, LLC. Still in the development stage, Single Rose will provide support facilities for artists of all ages and styles. Mark spends most of his time in business development, or writing and recording demos of his new songs he hopes will be played by St. Louis musicians.
This Month Mary and I visit the newly renovated Six Mile Regional Library and talk to the Library Director Tina Anderson Hubert. We were fortunate enough to catch the Gib Singleton exhibit, which runs though October. If you get a chance you should make time to see these incredible sculptures for yourself. Of course you will see them in the video blog below.
I have another story about my hometown of Granite City, Illinois. The story is really about what I’m going to call the Granite City Renaissance. It’s real and it’s alive. Mary and I stopped by the new Kool Beanz Cafe, located at 1316 Niedringhaus Ave, (618-877-5730) a “start-up” that has a bright future. Click play on the video link to see and hear all about Kool Beanz.
Part 2 of 2
ONSTL: I remember (when you were still at KSHE) there was a rift with one of the other on air jocks. He made his living in the negative zone and one day he started ripping your show on air. When he was let go the only thing you said was, and I’ll never forget this, “Working at KSHE is a privilege and like any other privilege, if you abuse it you lose it.”
Planet Radio.us is a an online radio station owned and operated by Randy Raley, best known for his afternoon drive show on KSHE from 1985 to 1998. Planet Radio plays a mix of classic album rock and AM top forties spanning from 1963 to current tunes. If you are a fan of music -- good music -- without the limitations of genre, then this is the station you have been waiting for.
All you need is love, but a cheeseburger wouldn't hurt.
In the fall of 2003, our beloved beagle Jody passed away due to an aggressive form of breast cancer. We were very sad; both Mary and I are dog lovers and the speed of Jody’s cancer left us both feeling empty and wanting another dog.
Mary has always loved Golden Retrievers and it didn’t take too long for her to convince me we should get one. By now, those details are blurry. Anyway, she found a breeder with a litter of pups almost old enough for new homes. She called, got the details, and a few days later we went there to look the place over.
This week’s blog is about an instrumental song I wrote late one night / early one morning a couple of years ago. For some reason I was feeling a little melancholy.
Words and music by Mark and Mary Whitehead
If you watched my interview with Ron and Joy last week for OnStl.com's “Hello St. Louis” you heard the story of a friend of ours who learned he had cancer, lost his job and his wife left him – all in a very short span of time. The worst part was that he never saw any of it coming. All I could do was talk to him on the phone and listen to him describe the events of each grueling day. At one particularly low point, I worried that he might take his own life. But he was stronger and braver than I gave him credit for. Slowly he put his life back together. Today he has a good job, is cancer free, and has a new girlfriend.
I was listening to NPR recently and heard a story about a mental illness called “Truman Show Syndrome.” It’s a mental disorder in which sufferers believe they are living in a reality television show. Not to dismiss TSS lightly (it’s a real disorder that can be easily treated), but I bring the subject up because I often make myself do a similar exercise when I write songs. A friend of mine once told me she called this exercise “Making a movie.”