Mark Lanier

(Submitted) Mark your calendars for Dec. 9 as Mark Lanier brings the annual "A Mark Lanier Christmas Homecoming" to Tallassee at the Mt Vernon Theatre, with the show beginning at 6 p.m.

Mark your calendars for Dec. 9 as Mark Lanier brings the annual "A Mark Lanier Christmas Homecoming" to Tallassee at the Mt Vernon Theatre, with the show beginning at 6 p.m. Lanier has gathered some of Nashville's best musicians who are regular performers on the Grand Ole Opry as his live band. Each member has roots in Gospel Music as well and has played for artists like The Bishops, The Mckameys, and people like Connie Smith, Bill Anderson, and others just to name a few.

The concert includes Christmas music as well as good old Southern Gospel, what Lanier was raised on.

Lanier's roots run deep locally. It was 1957 when he was born in the old Tallassee Hospital, right across the bridge in Tallassee. Lanier's mom Mae Ellen Ledbetter (at that time) finished school at Tallassee High School.

Lanier's grandparents Herman and Lillian Ledbetter both worked in the Mt Vernon Cotton Mill for 20 years and they ran a grocery store in East Tallassee in the 50s, so coming back home to be a part of the "Alabama Homecoming" is very special to Mark.

Mark's singing started early at about 4 years old when he began to sing in area churches for revivals and homecomings.

Lanier's dad Gene (Mutt) Lanier led the music and his mom Mae Ellen Lanier played the piano at Central Baptist Church in Central, AL where the family attended. He and his brothers, Jeff and Kevin, were in the choir and the love of gospel music began to grow even back then. The Gospel Music Jubilee was regularly watched at the Lanier's home each Sunday morning. The Florida Boys were the host of the show and had an Elmore county native as their tenor, Coy Cook. Lanier's dad and Coy were in a quartet when they were young known as the El-Co Four.

Lanier won several local talent shows and his family traveled the area as they grew up as The Lanier Family and the love for harmony grew in his heart.

Lanier moved to Nashville. TN in 1979 and was a cast member of "Country Music USA" at Opryland USA.

When Lanier returned home he put a band together and they played many times and actually were contestants on "You Can Be A Star" on the Nashville Network.

His love for gospel music never left him. He had an opportunity to play the piano with the Bibletones from Gulfport, MS in which Lanier's brother, Jeff, was also a member.

In 1990 Perfect Heart, a southern gospel quartet was born. Perfect Heart had great success and had several number one songs including song of the year "Somebody Touched The Lord".

In 1997 Lanier's heard the calling from God to set out on a solo career and he's never looked back. He has been traveling America for over 20-years spreading the gospel with his singing and songwriting. Artists Like Jake Hess, James Blackwood, The Kingsmen, The Nelons, The Florida Boys, Mark Trammel Quartet, Down East Boys, Poet Voices and many others have recorded Mark's songs.

There'll be plenty of humor and surprises and fun for the whole family.

Tickets are $15 advance and $20 at the door and children under 12 admitted free! Tickets can be purchased online at www.mtvernontheatre.net or across the road at the radio station.