HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED
It was in 1957, and Atlantic City, NJ was the place to hang out with their friends. Mark and his partner/friend of over 50 years Jerry Gross had just formed their first singing group, The Gems.

What stood out the most was, as they started singing, crowds of people (mostly girls) started to make a circle and that was all they needed to see…the rest as they say…is history.

The group thing worked out for the first few years. The Gems (with Jerry and Mark) then, Marks group, “Tony and The Raindrops” with 2 chart records. But Mark had a few ideas of his own and by the time he was 19 he was out on the road as a single act working nite clubs all over the East Coast.

By 1966 “The Dovells” had already made a name for themselves and after a few hits like “The Bristol Stomp”, “Hully Gully Baby”, “You Can’t Sit Down” etc, original lead singer Len Barry left and it was Jerry Gross, Mike Freda and Arnie Silver.

Mark reconnected with The Dovells again and started working with the group on the road. Freda left in 68’ and it was Jerry Arnie and Mark until 75’ when Arnie left.

Jerry and Mark have been carrying on the act and still perform some dates every year.

A lot happened musically in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Arnie and Mark started writing seriously and were making production and writing deals while living in NY.

Working with “The Beatles” attorneys’ Walter Hofer and Alan Grubman, Mark and Arnie made a deal with MGM records. “Dusty Roads”, their first album was released under the name “Silver-Stevens”and the writing and production deals kept coming.

Writing and producing the “Howdy Doody” Album for Pickwick International and for artists like Tommy James with “Just Hold My Hand And Sing”, various movie and Broadway shows and, recording with good friends like “Jay And The Americans” which they sang background vocals on their hit, “This Magic Moment” were just a small list of NY deals they were involved in.

At the same time Jerry, Arnie and Mark were touring extensively, performing in Las Vegas and venues like Madison Square Garden with 8 or 10 of their friends from the early 60’s. Gary US Bonds, The Drifters, Shirelles, Coasters, Danny And The Juniors, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Fats Domino and the list goes on and on.

Therein lies some of the most treasured memories of performing as The Dovells.

Great stories during those days like visiting back stage during one of the “Richard Nader’s Rock And Roll Revival Shows” starring Ricky Nelson when, Ricky made the terrible decision to do an original (never heard before) Honky Tonk tune, even though we all said it was a bad idea. And that’s where the song “Garden Party” came from. Ricky never did an “Oldies Show again.

Or the huge “Oldies” show in Vancouver, Canada when a riot broke out and all the acts wound up back in the tour bus and parked on some residential street when the neighbors came out looking to see why there was this huge bus and found out all their Rock’n Roll idols were there.

There are so many of those kinds of stories but, Mark is saving them for his one man show, “The History Of Rock’n Roll” which is now touring.

Mark is also in Pre-Production for a made for TV movie called “Your Land, My Land” and co-writing and producing the soundtrack for another film called “Gold 57” which features some of the songs written by Mark pre-Dovells.

Recently, Mark moved to Johnson City, Texas with his wife Isabel and their horses to be closer to grandkids and live in the western culture that Mark has loved for so long.

 

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