Though he’s deep enough to co-write the lyrics to the one of the most hauntingly beautiful and recognizable modern Christmas songs, Mark Lowry has a lighter side, too. But even he can’t say which side will show up — or at least in what order — during his performances as a singer, storyteller and comedian.
An audience, he said, can only expect the unpredictable twists and turns that come from a humorist who’s not afraid to poke a little fun at himself.
“I have ADD so I usually know what the first song will be and I know what the last song will be, but it’s an ADD rabbit trail of funny stories and songs getting to it,” he said.
Aside from his comedic bent, Lowry is a Dove Award winning vocalist whose lyrics for the song, “Mary Did You Know?” captivated Christian and secular audiences alike.
The song, first made public when singer Michael English added it to his 1992 debut CD, since has been recorded more than 400 times by artists from many genres and superstars such as Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd.
Lowry said he seeks out songs with that same potential for soul-shaking that made “Mary Did You Know?” a modern Christmas standard.
“I look for songs that have ‘meat on the bones’ as I like to call it, songs that say something, that could make a difference in someone’s life,” he says.
Working in a seven-year break to develop his solo career, Lowry has spent more than 20 collective years as the baritone singer for the Grammy-award-winning Gaither Vocal Band. He takes on the role of comedic sidekick for Bill Gaither during live concert tours and in the Gaither Homecoming video series and television airings, now totaling more than 150 volumes.
His career includes a long list of recordings and DVDs that showcase his knack for mixing wit and humor (he jokingly blames much of it on attention deficit disorder) with inspirational stories and gospel singing. His releases include: “Mark Lowry On Broadway,” “Mark Lowry Goes To Hollywood,” “Life Gets Loud,” “Unplugged and Unplanned,” “Whatcha Need” and “Unforgettable Classics,” along with his first all-hymn recording, “I Love To Tell the Story.“
The funny bits Lowry blends into his solo concerts, he said, arise from life experiences. They started out as chuckle-inducing improv Lowry threw in while singing at Baptist churches early in his career when he’d have to wait for the fellow in the back of the church to switch soundtracks.
It’s clear from his blog posts that he also picked up some of his gift for over-the-top entertaining from the Lowry family, one he writes is, without a doubt, “the loudest family” he knows.
“These people taught me to love life loudly, tell tales animatedly (using hand gestures, vocal inflections and facial expressions that would make Jim Carrey blush) and most importantly, never let the truth stand in the way of a good story. If you had been at my house from 3 p.m. to ‘God, will these people ever go home?’ on July 12, 2013, you would have heard boisterous clusters of conversations happening all over the room and all at the same time,” he writes.
“I love this family. These are my people. These are The Lowrys. Their blood and insanity flows in my veins. And I am grateful.”