Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
In the wake of Bob Dylan's breakthrough success in the early '60s, countless other similarly styled folk artists followed, including singer/guitarist Mark Spoelstra. Born on June 30, 1940, in Kansas City, MO, but raised in California, Spoelstra eventually relocated to New York City, where he began playing at coffeehouses and clubs (often performing as a duo with none other than Dylan himself). Shortly after the dawn of the '60s, Spoelstra was signed by Folkways Records, issuing a pair of recordings in 1963: Mark Spoelstra Recorded at Club 47 Inc. and Songs of Mark Spoelstra with a Twelve-String Guitar. 1965 held great promise for Spoelstra, as he signed a new record label (Elektra), issued his third release overall, Five & Twenty Questions, and played at the Newport Folk Festival. But after one more release, 1966's State of Mind, Spoelstra's music career was put on hold as he served in the U.S. military.
After fulfilling his military duties, Spoelstra picked up where he left off, releasing a self-titled release for Columbia Records in 1969 and touring the United States, Canada, England, and Holland. But once more, mainstream success eluded Spoelstra. Now having to support a family and failing to make ends meet, he completely turned his back on music and turned his attention to religion. But by 1974, Spoelstra had enrolled in the Two Year Discovery Art Guild Internship Program of Intensive Bible Study at Peninsula Bible Church, in Palo Alto, CA, eventually leading to him becoming a minister of music. Spoelstra subsequently began issuing albums once more, such as 1976's gospel-based Somehow, I Always Knew, among others. On February 24, 2007, after a short battle with cancer, the singer passed away.