10 Questions with ... Mark Giles
August 20, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in radio at 16, worship leader and youth pastor after college, car stereo & theft alarm shop owner, three years with New York Mets organization in the mid 80s, insurance & investment firm owner, full-time in radio in early 90s, Integrity Music (2001), Provident Label Group (2005), launched Hit Radio Promo (2007)
1) Congratulations on your new job at All Access. Tell us what initially interested you in the job.
I have loved to write for about as long as I can remember. I wrote my first book when I was 3. Seriously. It was four pages long. I can still remember the title: "Your Child Can Learn to Draw Like Sailor Bob." It was a short printing, only one copy, but I sold it for a quarter to the lady next door. I can also remember the huge grin on her face as I was making my sales pitch.
2) What are you most looking forward to in this new position?
The opportunity to work more closely with labels as they strive to serve radio and to help connect the dots between the artist and the listener.
3) What type of radio or which stations did you listen to growing up?
AM radio was huge when I was a kid. We had a decent Top 40 station in Lynchburg, WLVA, so I listened to that. When I turned 16, one of the stations decided to put a Christian station on the FM that they owned. Nobody listened to FM anyway. [Smile] I had an FM converter in my '69 Mustang because the factory didn't install FM radios till much later. I walked into that FM Christian station and asked for a job. Apparently they were desperate, and I was hired.
4) Can you name a few mentors along the way in your career and what they instilled in you?
Man, that's a tough one. So many folks have helped, educated, and served as unintentional mentors along the way. From an industry standpoint, I learned a lot from the promoters that used to call me when I was a PD/MD in Florida, which includes many of the folks still promoting today. They know who they were/are. [Smile]
I was introduced to many brilliant men and women through the Brad Burkhardt seminars of the late 90s and early 2000s. Folks that really made me THINK about what I was doing and why: Roy Williams, John Frost, Tommy Kramer and Al Kim, to name a few. I also gleaned wisdom by watching and listening to many MDs and PDs around the country, thanks in large part to Bob Thornton's visionary launch of the PD Forum. That connected the dots for me in a big way.
Mark Campbell, Dan Michaels and Jim Houser have been very kind to me and have taught me a bunch about the label business (though I'm not sure they would want that credit). I've observed Grant Hubbard, Andrea Kleid and Grayson Long for a long time and find them to be among the best at what they do. I honestly could list about 50 people here who have been gracious with their time and talents and have patiently invested in me. I am extremely blessed by the people who allow me to call them friend.
5) What do you love most about this community we call "Christian radio"?
I think the one common denominator is PASSION. Passion for Who we serve, what we do, and being the best you can be.
6) When did you first move to Nashville and what brought you here?
I moved here in 2005 to work with Provident Label Group. We live about 25 minutes south of the Cool Springs/Franklin area in Columbia, TN, and absolutely love it.
7) Outside of the music, what hobbies do you have?
Reading, writing, sports, movies, cars, computers and anything my best friend/gorgeous wife wants to do.
8) What do you do around Nashville for fun?
We catch a lot of movies. That's one of our date night things to do. And there is no shortage of concerts and theatre, which we love. The national parks around here are pretty great, so we visit when we can. And when time allows, we find interesting places to watch the sunset. God paints some incredible canvases in this area.
9) You're a father and grandfather. Can you brag on the little ones in your life?
You're right. I'm a father. But what's that second word of which you speak? I'm not sure that's in my vocabulary. Since I'm most likely the world's most immature 52-year-old, it's probably a term that I just don't understand yet. We have two sons, Chad and Devon, who are married to girls we adore. Chad and Adena have two boys and two girls, and Devon and Hollie have a boy and a girl. That's six if you're playing along at home. Three of each. The boys are handsome, daring and smart, and the girls are captivating, beautiful and brilliant. We are so very blessed. Our cup is absolutely full and running over. The highways to Florida and Virginia know us well, since we visit as often as schedule permits.
10) What one song in the history of the world do you wish you could have promoted to radio?
Now my mind is racing, as I recall so many songs that have moved me through the years, both on the mainstream and inspirational sides. That list is long,and would take us a while to work through.
But if I have to narrow it to one, it would be a song I heard playing over the intercom as I was walking through Target quite a few years ago. It was a Christian song, one that I had added to the station where I worked. And it was "in your face" Christian. No hidden meaning, no vague lyric. I first couldn't believe I was hearing what I was hearing, and then I found myself fighting tears right there in front of God and everybody. Could this be happening? Was I really hearing THIS lyric on mainstream radio? "Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for You, Jesus, or in awe of You be still? Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah? Will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine."
I wonder how many millions of hearts have been softened and touched by that melody? It was awesome to watch God take that small portion from MercyMe and feed the masses.
1) Favorite Meal:
Copycat Chicken (otherwise known as chicken lasagna). Hit me up and my wife Nancy can share the recipe if you're interested. I only get to eat it when we have special company for dinner, so please call and make arrangements to visit soon!
2) Cat or Dogs?
Both. I love animals. I've had squirrels, birds, groundhogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, frogs, crawfish, turtles, hamsters and gerbils. I have never lived on a farm or the menagerie would most likely be much more akin to something you'd find on River Riders Ranch. [Smile]
3) You're stranded on a desert island. What three things do you want with you and why?
Ok, you said "things" so I can't choose people. With that said, I want a photo album of all the folks that I love, so I can talk to them, pray for them, and celebrate all the great times we've spent together. I'd like a pair of telescopic binoculars, as I suspect there will be some pretty amazing stars for me to gaze. And I'd like the Carnival Cruise line master schedule, so I can determine the optimum time and direction to begin swimming/rafting/paddling back to my family.