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Mark Sallings

Date of Birth: April 11, 1952
Place: Searcy Arkansas
Current Residence: Wynne, AR

Mark Sallings has been performing since he was 14 years old and has performed non-stop since. He began with a small local band, playing clubs along the"Chitlin Circuit", in clubs like The White Swan where BB King and Albert King put down their licks as they traveled the Blues Highway.

Mark spent years in the recording and music industry in Memphis, working with many of the studios and developing his own musical style. It wasn't until 1990 that he put together the band that is now sailing into the charts nationwide. The Famous Unknowns was a tongue in cheek poke at his years of being known as a great sax and harp man. The Famous Unknowns were the first house band at BB Kings in Memphis.

Since their first gig in 1990 The Famous Unknowns have been steadily rising in popularity. Recording for Vent Records, his third CD, "Talkin To Myself" was released in October, 1997.

Mo Mark

The Famous Unknowns
Email Mark Sallings
Road Stories

Early Influences

Early influences in Mark Salling's life help make him the musician he is today.

Ronnie Hawkins Baby Sat Mark

Ronnie Hawkins, (Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks, and The Band) used to live at Brashears, Arkansas, just outside of Combs, Arkansas where Marks's mother grew up. Ronnie dated Mark's aunt Sue, his mother's sister and Ronnie and Sue would babysit for Mark. Mark remembers sitting on Ronnie's lap and listening to him play harmonica.

Sallings and Claude Garner

One of the earliest influences in Mark's life was a man named Claude Garner. He lived just a few miles from Mark's home in McCrory, Arkansas. Claude Garner played the harmonica on The Grand Ole Opry in the 40's and 50's and was an important figure in the local community. One night Mark went to see Mr. Garner play at a local music show and while waiting for him to go on he was sitting around back stage picking around on an old guitar. After listening to him for a while Garner told him "Why don't you learn to play something else besides the guitar". Mark was already playing the sax and clarinet so why not harmonica, too. They did eventually get to play harmonica together, even if it was on the front porch of Mr Garner's home years later. Claude Garner passed away on October 1, 1997 at 88 years of age: he was still playing the harmonica.

The Famous Unknowns

The Famous Unknowns circa 1995 from the left Victor Lukenbaugh, Tony Spinner, and Jerry Bone. Mark Sallings in front.

Visit the Famous Unknowns Web Site


The Famous Unknowns
"Up Close and Personal"
Recorded at Three Alarm Studios in Memphis; 1992
To purchase "Up Close and Personal"
Email Mark Sallings

Mark Sallings and The Famous Unknowns
"Let It Be Known"
Recorded at Front Row Studios in Birmingham, AL; 1995
Vent Records VR-0007 (800) 371-2217

Mark Sallings and The Famous Unknowns
"Talkin To Myself"
Recorded at Vent Records Studios Birmingham, AL
October, 1997
Vent Records VR-30011 (800) 371-2217

Read Leon McEntire's review of "Talkin To Myself" on Delta Boogie's Delta Pickins

Buy Famous Unknown CDs

Mark has also recorded with, Don McMinn, Son Thomas, Big Jack Johnson, Frank Frost and Sam Carr.

Delta Musicians