THE ILLINOIS COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION'S
2009 "GOSPEL DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR" and
1994-95-96-97 "VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR"
and Pam Fisher are well-known in the Illinois music
industry. Performing as Pam Gilbert, Pam Was been a featured
regular or guest at nearly every midwest country music show
since the late 60's.
Meanwhile, Mark was following a
different route, playing a little rock and roll and some
country before entering the computer and communications
industry; and eventually picking up the bass guitar again.
Their paths crossed several times over
the years, but neither realized it until the 1990's. Pam
sang on the 1960's Corn Belt Country Style TV show, which
Mark vaguely remembers. While Mark filled in with the
Lakelanders in 1975 at an Illinois Country Opry talent show,
the two probably passed backstage. At the Illinois Country
Music Association's inaugural concert in 1989, Pam was
filling in with the New Salem Country Opry, while Mark was
subbing with the Nashville Sound Country Opry. But in
passing backstage once again, did they remember each
Then, Pam joined the Nashville Sound
group in early 1990 and Mark later that year. The two worked
together professionally for nearly three years. Then the
summer of 1993 found both performers single and with plenty
in common. A few phone calls, a few dates, and a few duets
-- Mark and Pam were engaged by Thanksgiving.
1994 was indeed a banner year, as the
two tied the knot on September 30 (Mark's 40th birthday),
and nine days later won the first of four consecutive "Vocal
Duo of the Year" awards from the Illinois Country Music
Association. They continued to perform with the Nashville
Sound until December of 1995, when they "retired" from
regular weekly shows. A chance to slow down....
Over the next few years, they filled
in with the Wagon Wheel Opry and
Nashville Sound Country Opry; made guest appearances with
the Salt River Opry, Bement Country Opry, Kentuckiana Opry,
Patterson Opry, McLean County Country Opry, New Salem
Country Opry, the Illinois Opry Show and the Black Diamond
Jubilee; and have mixed in vacations, weddings, graduations,
homecomings, yard work, business trips, grandchildren ....
you know, everyday chaos!
In 2003, the couple decided to leave
country music behind and launch a Southern Gospel music
ministry, and have been busier than ever!