East Texas man finding success in Nashville

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - By Jamey Boyum - email
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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Longview man may be following in the footsteps of Neal McCoy and Miranda Lambert.

Mark Cooke has been recording a CD for the past several months in Nashville. His single, "Can't Cheat in a Small Town," is being played on nearly 200 radio stations across the south.

Mark Cooke knows country music. He and his band, "Mark Cooke and the Cooke County Line," have been together since 1998 and just in the last few months he finally got his break. But, it takes more than talent to get a Nashville recording contract. It takes investors, too.

"We went up to Nashville, talked to the producer that I've been with the last five years, which is Jay Gary Smith, and his son John Smith," said Cooke. "They're the people that we're using for networking and brainpower behind an album."

His CD should be released sometime this fall but his single is available now at iTunes.

"It's actually doing really well on the music row charts which is a sneak peek at maybe how good its going to be as far as the Billboard charts," he said.

The song is written by Don Goodman, Abbey Boykin and Brad Wolf, but Cooke writes music, too. He hopes to get to include some of his own tunes on his first CD. He and his producers listened to a lot of music before they chose Cooke's single. Just around the corner is promotion.

"In another week and a half we'll be going on a music tour all across the Southern States…and once we complete that we'll be doing the music video in Georgia," Cooke stated.

Cooke will give his original band members the opportunity to tour with him, and hopes they are able to swing it. He also plans on keeping things real.

"I hung my boots up. I put them outside by the door. I don't have to use them anymore. I didn't throw them away because I might need them again," he laughed.

With a little luck, maybe all he will need those old boots for is musical inspiration.

Cooke's label is Cotton Valley Records, and you can find his play date information at http://www.markcooke.com/.

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