Mark V was a recording studio and gospel label that began in Greenville, South Carolina in 1961. The purpose of this research is to document the history and achievements of the studio and it's musicians and to reveal the impact that the music of South Carolina, as recorded at Mark V, had on popular culture.
The origins of Mark V Studios are documented from books on regional radio history, concert bills and newspapers from the period. The performance careers of the founding musicians are examined and a record of their musical acumen established. A record of studio operations and a representative sampling of artists is developed from interviews with studio owners and staff musicians, and from the studio’s discography, which was obtained through internet sources. A critical examination of the music is featured, with audio samples included. These were obtained through internet sources and the collection of the author. Photographic documentation was acquired through newspaper archives, books on regional radio history and loans from interview subjects. Historical data regarding dates and personnel was obtained exclusively through interviews conducted by the author.
Research began with the compilation of a list of artists associated with the studio. Names were gathered from record sleeves bearing the Mark V logo, found online or on records acquired by the author. The author then contacted available persons and conducted interviews. Newspaper archives and books on radio broadcast history were consulted to provide cultural context.
This research will examine the music of South Carolina in the late twentieth century and reveal the country and gospel foundations on which American popular music is built. In so doing, it will bring recognition to the fact that the Upstate of South Carolina possesses a distinct musical culture and tradition that can be a source of civic and cultural pride.