The Early Years
Born and raised in East Texas, Mark Cooke grew up singing, writing, and playing songs influenced by multiple genres’ that helped lead him to direct his strengths and talents toward his first love and comfort zone, the world of country music…
After graduating high school in 1993, Mark decided to put his dream of a music career on hold to join the U.S. Navy. As a young impressionable man his tenure in the Navy made him a much stronger person mentally and spiritually throughout all of the changes happening in his life as a young man in transition to his destiny. While serving his Country it gave him the stability, time, and focus he needed to finally be true to himself and focus on his music. While sailing around the world, Mark worked diligently to enhance his vocal and writing skills in the hopes of someday being able to fulfill his dreams to make it as an Artist. In 1997, Mark completed his duty with the U.S. Navy emerging as a seasoned Veteran in more ways than one and officially began working diligently on the future development of his music career to achieve his goal.
Post US Military Life - Music Career
Fresh out of the service in 1997, Cooke, now a newly crowned US Naval Veteran was in high gear and hot pursuit to cure his hunger to perform and build his brand which led him to start the Cooke County Line Band in Texas and begin the journey. In very little time, Mark Cooke and the 7-piece Cooke County Line Band began playing all over Central Texas and the Southeastern region of the US, not only gaining great notoriety, but he also began building a true fan base that was loyal and could help support his new found success. During this period, Mark had the opportunity to open for or play with many veteran acts including John Rich, George Jones, Miranda Lambert, Tracy Lawrence, Chris Cagle, Little Jimmy Dickens, Whispering Bill Anderson, David Lee Murphy, David Allan Coe, Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wiley Hubbard, Charlie Robison, Ty Herndon, Linda Davis and many more. Now well on his way to the reality of making a living as a country singer, Mark had no idea that his efforts would soon lead him to Nashville, TN, the home of country music.
When introduced to Record Executives their outlook on Mark’s talent was always consistent with the consensus and excitement that it was great to find an artist with such a natural country voice and likability factor that was through the roof as far as industry standard was concerned… Bombarded with opportunities and offers Mark began the quest to record his first project and he released his debut single, “Can’t Cheat in a Small Town,” written by Brad Wolf, Abby Boykin and Don Goodman. Released in the summer of 2010 to rave reviews, the single made it all the way to number 42 on the Music Row chart and number 56 on Billboard’s Indicator chart.
His follow up single entitled “I Love It” from his debut album was written by veteran songwriters Philip Douglas, Ron Harbin and Jimmy Yeary. “I Love It” as a song was a true defining moment and performance that proved Mark’s worth in country music.
Present Day – New Adventures
While supporting the full time development of his music career through touring, producing, and performing his travels in life and career led his heart to what would become his new first love and biggest fan, his Wife Tonya and a perfect place for his destiny to hit its second pause button. Not only has this time brought Mark the love of his life with Tonya, but together they have become the parents of two beautiful Sons Gatlin and Ridge that have given them the solidarity and strength as Family to dream in new directions together.
Always loving the outdoors Mark’s travels and hobbies have contributed greatly to him developing an accord with nature as an expert Hunter and outdoorsman. Smitten with Tonya’s incredible ability of being a true Daddy’s girl that can actually out fish him, and possibly out hunt him, Mark has utilized his second career pause to develop a Family based perspective on hunting with his Wife and Sons as a unique television project that includes all of his strengths: His Family, his Music, and his love of Hunting…
270 outdoors is a feature episodic program focusing on regional Hunters and Outdoor enthusiast in the Western Kentucky market famous for its 270 Area Code. Hunters from this region submit their videos as Mark hosts and comments on the weekly featured reports of the up-and-comers as well as the elite of the 270 outdoors circuit.
Gatlin Ridge Outdoors is a broad scope look at both big and small Game Hunting and Fishing in the outdoor regions of North America and abroad. From time to time Mark’s Wife Tonya and his Sons Gatlin & Ridge who inspired the Show’s name will accompany him in the field and participate in the action and thrill of the Hunts that have become a Family Affair for the Cooke Clan… The Show will also feature Mark’s Music, his own Hunting Skill tips along with special guest A-Listers from the Outdoorsman world to add to the weekly antics that always come along with the anticipation of a great hunt, as well as the downside of coming back empty handed.
With his dreams all coming true, Mark's family and friends continue to support him in every way possible. Through all the good times and bad, he still is the same boy from East Texas who had a dream that’s been touched with the grace of God as he continues to pursue his destiny and build his legacy with his Family.