Mark Gray, 64, a country music singer-songwriter who was raised in the New Salem community, died Friday, Dec. 2.
He was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he began singing gospel music and learning to play piano. Later he became a finalist on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. While singing with the Revelations, he was spotted by the Oak Ridge Boys, who asked him to appear on their tours.
From there he joined Exile in 1979, where he cowrote with J.P. Pennington “Take Me Down” (1982) and “The Closer You Get (1983), which became major hits for the group Alabama. In 1981, Gray became a solo artist and released three albums with CBS that earned him four Top Ten hits. Gray was also well known for his duet with Tammy Wynette, “Sometimes When We Touch,”
Mark Gray is survived by his wife of 23 years, Janice Gray; children, Latoya Lackey (Chris) and Ian Gray (Kirby); grandson, Christopher Lackey Jr.; and brothers, Dennis Gray (Kathy), Terry Gray (Bobbie), and Austin Gray (Annette).
He is preceded in death by parents, Hayden and Dorothy O’Neal Gray; aunt and uncle Lorena and John Jones; brothers, Charles Gray and Bob Shackelford; and sister, Bonnie Shackelford.
The family will be receiving friends at Sellars Funeral Home on Sunday, Dec. 4, from 3-7 p.m: and from 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 5, until the funeral service, which will be at 11 a.m. The service will be conducted by Pastor Danny Sellars in the chapel of Sellars Funeral Home. Interment will be in Learned, Mississippi.
Arrangements by Sellars Funeral Home, Lebanon, Tennessee, (615) 444-9393.