Mark Petersen

Mark Petersen (1959 -) is a singer-songwriter originally from Nisswa, Minnesota, a village located approximately 135 miles north-northwest of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, in the Brainerd Lakes area. He is known nationally as the writer of several country chart hits, including the Sammy Kershaw top 5 hit "Cadillac Style", Sammy's number one smash "I Can't Reach Her Anymore" (co-written with fellow Minnesotan Bruce Theien), and Tim McGraw's "Refried Dreams" (co-written with Jim Foster, a songwriter from Bandera Texas, and co-writer of Meet In The Middle" by Diamond Rio, and the title cut and second release from Sammy Kershaw's first album "Don't Go Near The Water")

Mark was raised in a musical family. His aunts formed a group called "The Petersen Sisters", who performed for area dances in the 1950s, and provided the inspiration for him to pick up the bass and guitar. He played alto saxophone in his elementary School band, and switched to tuba in junior high and by the end of his sophomore year, he had claimed first chair in the Minnesota All-State Orchestra, and was selected to the All-State Band the following year. 

At age 17, as a guitarist, he joined "Black Gold", a local pop country rock band, and at age 19, hit the road with a professional road group called "The Blackwater Band" playing bass guitar. When he was 21, He joined "Steve Hall & The Southbound '76, and helped them win first place in the "Seagrams Seven International Battle of The Bands" for state of Minnesota in 1981, first place in same for the State of North Dakota in 1982, as well as a Minnesota state championship in the 1983 Dodge/Wrangler Country Star Search. Drummer Steve Hall's comedic puppet "Shotgun Red" was discovered as a by-product of the 1982 national finals, and paved the way for the group to leave the nightclub scene in favor of playing arenas, stadiums, state fairs and cruise ships, eventually leading to a year-long theater stint in Branson Missouri in 1990, and a 12-year run as the matinee headliner aboard the General Jackson Showboat at Opryland USA. Mark also served as acoustic guitarist and band leader for RFD-TV's "Shotgun Red Variety Show" for its first season in 2011.

Mark's songwriting career took off in 1991, with the help and guidance of Buddy Kalb at Ray Stevens Music, the Publishing Company where he also received valuable music business tips from Ray Stevens himself, Ray's manager Don Williams (brother of singer Andy Williams) and Nashville producer and premier guitarist Chet Atkins. 

In 1992, he joined the writing staff at Harold Shedd's Music Mill, where he wrote or co-wrote over 180 songs over the five years he spent there. His fellow staff writers included Jimmy Stewart, Tony Hazelton, Don Von Tress and DeWayne Blackwell. His skill-set also benefited from the wisdom and direction of Publishers Russ Zavitson and Lisa Ramsey producers Buddy Cannon, Norro Wilson, Ed Seay, Bud Logan and Nelson Larkin, Engineers Butch Carr, Jim Cotton and Joe Scaife, and the owner Harold Shedd, who was also President of Mercury/ Nashville Records at the time. Mark also wrote for Byron Gallimore Productions in 1999. 

He currently lives in Brainerd Minnesota with his wife, singer-songwriter Stormie Mountain Petersen, and their 5 adopted cats. He has one biological daughter from a previous marriage and 5 step-children courtesy of his current one.

Mark has 3 BMI awards, one NSAI award, several BMI "million play" awards, and has written over 450 songs, recorded by the likes of Keith Perry, The Maffetts, Tim McGraw, Sammy Kershaw and George Jones, and placed on hold to potentially record by Reba McEntire, Marty Stuart, Crystal Gayle, Sara Evans, David Ball and many others.

Mark is still an active songwriter and has set among his future goals a long-awaited George Strait cut, a Toby Keith cut, and a Sammy Kershaw career comeback single.