Mark D. Sander

born on 7/9/1950 in Los Angeles, CA, United States

Mark D. Sanders

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Mark D. Sanders

Mark Daniel Sanders is an American Country Music songwriter. He has written 14 No. 1 hits, 50 singles, and over 200 cuts, including the famous Lee Ann Womack single "I Hope You Dance", co-written with Tia Sillers.

Early life

Mark Daniel Sanders was born in Los Angeles, Calif. on September 7, 1950. While majoring in literature, Sanders also enjoyed playing basketball and surfing at Fullerton College and the University of California-San Diego. Sanders first wrote songs as a hobby, until March 5, 1980, when he went to Nashville, Tenn. to give his first few songs a shot.[1] Sanders worked jobs such as tour bus driving and substitute teaching until he was able to develop his songwriting into a full-fledged career about a decade later.

In an interview with American Songwriter, Sanders said, "I was 29 and wanted to do something of significance in my life. I couldn't do anything else. I didn't want to turn 30 and be aimless. I think some people grow up needing to be creative, it just took me awhile to give myself permission to do it."

In June 1986, Sanders married Cindy Sasser whom he met while they were both working at Hillsboro High School in Nashville, TN. In addition to a successful songwriting career, Sanders has two daughters Kate & Sophie Sanders, a son Dylan Sanders, a stepdaughter Jill Goodwin, and stepson Ethan Goodwin. He was previously married to Betty Sanders who worked as a lab technician at Vanderbilt University while he was a staff writer for Acuff-Rose, and together they have a daughter.


After spending a successful decade writing in Nashville, Tenn., Sanders career began to skyrocket in the early 1990s. Songs by artists Diamond Rio, Tracy Lawrence, and John Anderson brought Sanders 14 No. 1 singles.[2]

"My experience tells me that one out of five songs I demo will get cut, and I'd be really lucky if two of them were recorded," said Sanders. "It took me 10 years to make enough money to where I didn't have to worry about next year's house payment."[1]

Sanders was nominated for NSAI Songwriter of the Year in 1995, a year that brought him five No. 1 hits. He was nominated a second time in 1996. Also in 1996, Sanders won an award for Country Song of the Year for the song "No News" by Lonestar. Sanders was also awarded Country Songwriter of the Year in 1997.[2] He also won songwriter of the year in 1995 and 1997 from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Sanders has held a previous staff position is at Starstruck Publishing, Reba McEntire's company located on Nashville's Music Row, working with many famous artists side by side.

On November 7, 2011, Mark D Sanders released "History & Hope", an album that features him singing 10 of his songs spanning his career.


Sanders' major career achievement, however, would be his collaboration with Tia Sillers on the Lee Ann Womack song "I Hope You Dance". The duo had previously written the Martina McBride song "I Ain't Goin' Nowhere" in 1999, but it was their collaboration on the Womack song that gained them recognition. The song became a No. 1 country hit and Top 20 pop hit for Lee Ann Womack, and received the Grammy Award for "Best Country Song," as well as a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year. The song also received CMA & ACM Awards for Song of the Year in 2000. The song stayed atop the Billboard Country chart for five consecutive weeks.[3]

Sillers remembers the ease that came with working with Sanders. "Mark made everything better. He was always great to work with. We wrote the song very quickly finishing the song in just a day or two."[3]

The song's popularity led to the release of a book entitled "I Hope You Dance", another collaboration of Sillers and Sanders. The book contains poems and writings inspired by the song. There is also an "I Hope You Dance" children's book and journal. Sanders and Sillers later collaborated again on an inspirational book entitled "Climb".

Other hits by Sanders include "Blue Clear Sky" (with Bob DiPiero) for George Strait, "Heads Carolina, Tails California", Jo Dee Messina's first hit single; and "My Heart Has a History" for Paul Brandt.[1]

Sanders was recently inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. According to American Songwriter, "The Hall welcomed talented writers Kye Fleming and Mark D. Sanders, and from the Songwriter/Artist category, late Country music icon Tammy Wynette." [4] The induction ceremony took place at the 39th Anniversary Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony in Nashville on Oct. 19, 2009.[5]

"Kye, Mark and Tammy have made many poignant and enduring contributions to the music world and certainly deserve to take their places among their gifted peers," said Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation Chairman Roger Murrah, whose own songwriting credits include hits by Alan Jackson, Alabama and Blake Shelton. "It's an honor for us to recognize them for their outstanding accomplishments." [6]

Sanders' name was associated with hit songs during the 1990s.[6]

Inspiration and technique

Sanders attributes his writing abilities to self-editing and having faith in his writing.

"If you looked at my songs 1516 years ago, you would know what I mean. Learning to finish a song is a process. I've written so many just learn things you don't want to say, things you've said before. I try to think of interesting or quirky things that no one else has said," Sanders told American Songwriter.[1]

"You have to also get out of thinking that your life is the most interesting thing you have to write about. I had to write about myself when I started out, it was therapy. But the older I got the more I realized that my life isn't that interesting, so I started to write about other stuff."

Sanders receives inspiration from life all around him. He often gets ideas from book titles and was once inspired by the name of an author herself.[1]

"I like to find a book where the author writes like country music writers," Sanders has said. "And sometimes I'll just walk through a bookstore and look at titles."[1]

No. 1 Hits

  • "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing" Trace Adkins
  • "Blue Clear Sky" George Strait
  • "Come Cryin' to Me", "No News" Lonestar
  • "Daddy's Money" Ricochet
  • "Don't Get Me Started" Rhett Akins
  • "Heads Carolina, Tails California" Jo Dee Messina
  • "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack
  • "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" Reba McEntire
  • "If You've Got Love" John Michael Montgomery
  • "It Matters to Me" Faith Hill
  • "Money in the Bank" John Anderson
  • "Runnin' Behind" Tracy Lawrence
  • "They're Playin' Our Song" Neal McCoy
  • "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy" Chris LeDoux & Garth Brooks

  • "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing" Trace Adkins, 1997 (No. 1 Country)
  • "A Door" Aaron Tippin, 1997 (No. 65 Country)
  • "A Matter of Wine" Mel Tillis, 1983
  • "A River Like You" Vince Gill, 2006
  • "Ain't That the Way It Goes" Dave Kemp, 1983 (No. 75 Country)
  • "Another Friday Night" Kenny Chesney, 1996
  • "Anytime" Rick Trevino, 1996
  • "Baby's Gone" Trace Adkins, 2003
  • "Backslider's Prayer" Ty England, 1996 Lesley McDaniel, 2000
  • "Better Than It Used to Be" Rhett Akins, 1998 (No. 47 Country)
  • "The Big Bad Broken Heart" Regina Regina, 1997 Kimberlee Nash, 2003
  • "Blue Clear Sky" George Strait, 1996 (No. 1 Country) Bob DiPiero, 2001
  • "Bobbie Ann Mason" Rick Trevino, 1995 (No. 6 Country)
  • "Buckaroo" Lee Ann Womack, 1998 (No. 27 Country)
  • "Careful What You Wish For" Ricky Lynn Gregg, 2001 Texas Unlimited Band, 2005
  • "Cheatin' On Her Heart" Jeff Carson, 1998 (No. 52 Country)
  • "Cold Dog Soup" Guy Clark, 1999
  • "Come Cryin' to Me" Lonestar, 1997 (No. 1 Country)
  • "Come Home" Trace Adkins, 2001
  • "Come With Me" Zane Lewis, 2008
  • "Daddy's Money" Ricochet, 1996 (No. 1 Country) Country Kickers, 1997
  • "Divine Intervention" Greg Holland, 1994 Jeff Carson, 2001
  • "Don't Get Me Started" Rhett Akins, 1996 (No. 1 Country)
  • "Don't Take Your Love Away From Me" Randy Travis, 1996
  • "Drinkin' Problem" Lori McKenna, 2007
  • "Fools Hall of Fame" Barry & Holly Tashian, 1997
  • "Geronimo" Andy Childs, 1993 James T. Horn, 1997
  • "Get a Guitar" Jeff Carson, 1995
  • "Girls Ride Horses Too" Judy Rodman, 1987 (No. 7 Country)
  • "Hands On Man" Jeff Bates, 2006
  • "Happy As We Wanna Be" Rhett Akins, 1998
  • "Have a Nice Rest of Your Life" Randy Travis, 1989
  • "Heads Carolina, Tails California" Jo Dee Messina, 1996 (No. 2 Country)
  • "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" Reba McEntire, 1995 (No. 1 Country)
  • "Here's Hopin'" Kathy Mattea, 1989 Roy Rogers & Randy Travis, 1991
  • "Hills & Hollers" Adrienne Young & Little Sadie, 2005
  • "Hotwired" Shawn Camp, 2006 Porter Wagoner, 2007
  • "House Huntin'" Matthews, Wright & King, 1992 (No. 68 Country)
  • "I Ain't Goin' Nowhere" Martina McBride, 1999
  • "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack, 2000 (No. 1 Country/No. 1 AC /No. 14 Pop)
    • NSAI Song of the Year for 2000-2001
    • 2000 ACM and 2000 CMA Song and Single of the Year
    • 2000 Grammy for Best Country Song
    • 2001 ASCAP Country Song of the Year
    • 2001 BMI Country Song of the Year Sons of the Desert
    • 2000 Oleta Adams
    • 2001 Reigning Mercy
    • 2001 Dennis Caplinger
    • 2002 Willie Jolley
    • 2003 Lisa Otey & the Desert Divas
    • 2004 Ronan Keating
    • 2004 Deborah Lippman
    • 2005 Tia Sillers
    • 2005 Glendon Smith Quintet
    • 2006 Kim McAbee
    • 2006 Gladys Knight
  • "I'm Up For Gettin' Down Tonight" Clifford Curry, 1985 Savannah, 1985
  • "I'd Rather Ride Around With You" Reba McEntire, 1997 (No. 2 Country)
  • "I'd Say That's Right" Clay Walker, 1997
  • "If I Could Live Your Life" Linda Davis & Reba McEntire, 1996
  • "If I'm Ever Over You" Michelle Wright, 1992
  • "If You've Got Love" John Michael Montgomery, 1995 (No. 1 Country)
  • "I'll Take Care Of You" Kathy Mattea, 1989
  • "I'm Your Man" Jason Sellers, 1997 (No. 37 Country)
  • "In The Blood" Rob Crosby, 1992 (No. 48 Country)
  • "It Goes Without Saying" Tim Malchak, 1988 (No. 35 Country)
  • "It Matters To Me" Faith Hill, 1996 (No. 1 Country / No. 74 Pop)
  • "It's About Time" Julie Reeves, 1999 (No. 51 Country)
  • "Just Another Heartache" Chely Wright, 1998 (No. 39 Country)
  • "Just As Dead Today" Shawn Camp, 2006
  • "Knocked Up" Heidi Newfield, 2008
  • "Leaving This Life" Lori McKenna, 2007
  • "Like a Hurricane" Kathy Mattea, 1987 Pat Alger, 1991 The Dillards, 1992
  • "Little Miracles" Jenny Simpson, 1998
  • "Loretta Lynn's Lincoln" Josh Turner, 2006
  • "Love and Gravity" BlackHawk, 1997
  • "Love Like a River" Daylon Wear, 2001
  • "Love Will Carry The Load" Susie Luchsinger, 1995
  • "Love Won't Wait" The Whites, 1986 (No. 36 Country)
  • "Macon Love" David Wills, 1984 (No. 69 Country)
  • "The Man Behind The Wheel" Charlie Floyd, 1993
  • "Many a Mile" Collin Raye, 1992
  • "Many Mansions" Moe Bandy, 1989 (No. 34 Country)
  • "The Memories Remain" Emmylou Harris, 1983 Barry & Holly Tashian, 1993
  • "Mirror, Mirror" Diamond Rio, 1991 (No. 3 Country) Bob DiPiero, 2001
  • "Money In the Bank" John Anderson, 1993 (No. 1 Country)
  • "My Heart Has a History" Paul Brandt, 1996 (No. 5 Country)
  • "Never Had a Reason To" Reba McEntire, 1996
  • "New Orleans" Oak Ridge Boys, 1999 Toby Keith, 1999
  • "No News" Lonestar, 1996 (No. 1 Country) 1997 ASCAP Country Song of the Year
  • "Off My Rocker" Billy Currington, 2002
  • "Off to Join the World" Blaine Larson, 2003 Cowboy Jack Clement, 2004
  • "Oh Carolina" Vince Gill, 1984 (No. 38 Country)
  • "On Again, Off Again" Nashville Bluegrass Band, 1993
  • "One Love, One You" Oak Ridge Boys, 1987
  • "The Other Side of This Kiss" Mindy McCready, 1998 (No. 41 Country)
  • "Preachin' To The Choir" Jeff Carson, 1995
  • "The Quittin' Kind" Joe Diffie, 1999 (No. 21 Country / No. 90 Pop)
  • "Runnin' Away With My Heart" Lonestar, 1996 (No. 8 Country)
  • "Runnin' Behind" Tracy Lawrence, 1992 (No. 1 Country)
  • "Save This One For Me" Rick Trevino, 1995 (No. 45 Country)
  • "See Rock City" Rick Trevino, 1997 (No. 44 Country) Kentucky HeadHunters, 1997
  • "She's Still There" Trace Adkins, 1999
  • "Small Towns Are Smaller for Girls" Holly Dunn, 1987
  • "Spinning Straw Into Gold" Barry & Holly Tashian, 1994
  • "Straight to You" Brian McComas, 2003
  • "Talk to My Heart" Joan Kennedy, 1994
  • "That'd Be Alright" Alan Jackson, 2003 (No. 2 Country / No. 29 Pop)
  • "That's a Man" Jack Ingram, 2009 (No. 15 Country)
  • "That's Enough of That" Mila Mason, 1996 (No. 18 Country)
  • "That's Me (Every Chance I Get)" George Strait, 1997
  • "That's One You Owe Me" Johnny Cash, 1989
  • "That's The Way I Feel" Delbert McClinton, 1990
  • "That's What I Like About Love" Billy Dean, 1993
  • "That's What Love'll Get You" Joe Nichols, 2005
  • "The Day That She Left Tulsa (In A Chevy)" Wade Hayes, 1998 (No. 5 Country / No. 86 Pop)
  • "There You Are" Martina McBride, 2000 (No. 10 Country / No. 15 AC / No. 60 Pop)
  • "They're Playin' Our Song" Neal McCoy, 1995 (No. 3 Country) Bob DiPiero, 2001
  • "Thinking 'Bout Leaving" James & Michael Younger, 1983 Gene Watson, 1983 Butch Baker, 1984 (No. 56 Country)
  • "This'd Be a Real Good Day" Chad Austin, 2000
  • "Those Hands" Rhett Akins, 1995
  • "Time Is a Bandit" Ricky Skaggs, 1997
  • "Tune of a Twenty Dollar Bill" Lonesome River Band, 2002 Shawn Camp, 2004 Joey & Rory, 2008
  • "Two Ways to Fall" Barry & Holly Tashian, 1997 Rodney Redman, 2002 Ty England, 1996
  • "Victim of the Game" Garth Brooks, 1990 Trisha Yearwood, 1991
  • "Vidalia" Sammy Kershaw, 1996 (No. 10 Country)
  • "Waitin' for the Day to Break" Shawn Camp, 2006
  • "Walking to Jerusalem" Tracy Byrd, 1995 (No. 15 Country / No. 92 Pop)
  • "Way Beyond The Blue" The Bonners, 1988 (No. 99 Country) Roger Ballard, 1993
  • "The Way Things Are Goin'" Darryl Worley, 2000
  • "What If I Do" Mindy McCready, 1997 (No. 26 Country)
  • "What More Do You Want from Me?" Rhonda Vincent, 1996 Diamond Rio, 1998
  • "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy" Chris LeDoux & Garth Brooks, 1992 (No. 7 Country) Country Dance Kings, 1993
  • "When Her Love Was Mine" Pirates of the Mississippi, 1995
  • "When I Get Where I'm Goin'" Nashville Bluegrass Band, 1993
  • "When Life Hits Hard" Ricky Skaggs, 1997
  • "Willow In the Wind" Kathy Mattea, 1989
  • "Yeah Buddy" Jeff Carson, 1995 (No. 69 Country)
  • "You Are What You Do" Highway 101, 1993 The Moffatts, 1995
  • "Your Woman Misses Her Man" Chely Wright, 1997


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 MARK SANDERS: Turning His Hobby Into A Career. American Songwriter (1997-01-01). Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mark D. Sanders :: Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation. Nashville Songwriters Foundation (1950-07-09). Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tia Sillers I Hope You Dance. SongwriterUniverse Article. Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
  4. Tammy Wynette, Kye Fleming, and Mark Sanders Inducted Into Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame. American Songwriter (2009-10-19). Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
  5. Photos : 2009 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame : Mark D. Sanders and Kye Fleming Inducted to Songwriters Hall of Fame. CMT (2009-10-19). Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
  6. 6.0 6.1 News : Headlines : Songwriters Hall Makes "Stand" for Tammy Wynette : Great American Country. (2009-09-01). Retrieved on 2011-11-16.

External links

This page was last modified 08.12.2013 13:25:13

This article uses material from the article Mark D. Sanders from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.