Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters Podcast

Mark D Sanders

Ep. 93 - Mark D. Sanders
I Hope You Dance: Nashville's Heavy Hitter


Scott and Paul catch up on the latest Songcraft news and chat about some of their favorite songs about Nashville.

PART TWO - 16:06 mark
Wanna learn how to be like Mark D. Sanders? You can start with Patreon. The guys tell you where to check it out.

PART THREE - 18:13 mark
Our in-depth interview with Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Mark D. Sanders

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Scott heads over to Mark's house in Nashville to get the inside scoop on how music helped him survive a troubled home life growing up; why he had trouble co-writing with people who had more success than he had; the co-writer who taught him he could have fun and write a song at the same time; his battles with severe depression; the demo singer he credits with boosting his career; the famous song that inspired the chord progression of "I Hope You Dance;" and the ethical reason he decided to walk away from commercial country music culture after decades of success.

Southern California native Mark D. Sanders moved to Nashville just before turning 30 and began building a career as a professional songwriter that eventually spawned 25 Top 10 hits, including more than a dozen #1 singles. His list of chart-topping hits includes “Mirror Mirror” by Diamond Rio, “Money in the Bank” by John Anderson, “Daddy’s Money” by Ricochet, “It Matters to Me” by Faith Hill, “No News” by Lonestar, “Heads Carolina, Tails California” by Jo Dee Messina, “Blue Clear Sky” by George Strait, “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing” by Trace Adkins, and “That’d Be Alright” by Alan Jackson. Other artists who’ve recorded Mark’s songs include Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Tracey Lawrence, Trisha Yearwood, and Guy Clark.  

Sanders was named Songwriter of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association in 1995 and 1996, and ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year in 1997. Lee Ann Womack’s recording of “I Hope You Dance” earned him Song of the Year honors from NSAI, ASCAP, the ACM and the CMA, as well as a Grammy for Best Country Song and a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year across all categories. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.

Songcraft's Mark D. Sanders Playlist: Spotify users can select the song you'd like to hear below, or simply start the player and enjoy 35 of Mark's Top 40 country hits. If you don't have a Spotify account, follow the prompts to sign up for free. Click this link to take you directly to the playlist in the Spotify web player.