Mark Houser, President and CEO of Writers In-House Music, started the company in 1988 in his hometown of Livingston, Tennessee in order to record and release an album of some of his original songs. The idea of developing the publishing company into a Nashville based operation was not yet conceived. Houser’s only recorded song to that point was by independent artist and Livingston, Tennessee native Jim Bowman. Bowman had written a hit song for Mel Tillis and was releasing a record of his own when Houser was introduced to him and the two of them wrote the song “After Lovin’ You” in 1983. That song was included on Bowman’s album. This recording inspired Houser to consider making a record and after five years it was released on Magnum Records in 1988. The title cut of that collection “The Big Picture” was picked up by the motion picture “NO JUSTICE” as the movie’s closing theme in 1989.
In 1990 Houser met Cookeville, Tennessee native Jimmy Bilbrey and would form a co–writing partnership that allowed him to grow as a writer and one that has withstood the test of time. The two of them then met a young singer-songwriter Rodney Atkins who was living in Cookeville at the time and the three begin sharing ideas. Houser wrote many songs with Atkins including six on the developmental project that landed Atkins a major label recording contract on Curb Records. The song ‘God Only Knows” written by Houser, Atkins, and Ted Hewitt was released by Curb as a part of a single CD in 1999 and was the first major label success in Houser’s career. Houser was offered a writing deal by Curb Publishing during the late 1990’s but the two sides never completed the deal and after Chuck Howard left the label the negotiations ended.
Rodney Atkins and Mark Houser
Houser continued to forge ahead and has co-written songs with a host of Nashville’s finest talent, including Rodney Atkins, Casey Beathard, Karyn Rochelle, Kendall Marvel, Sherrie Austin, Randy Houser, Brian Gowan, Ted Hewitt, David Kent, Arlo Gilliam, Reed Nielsen, Mark D. Conklin, Mark Schaffel, Mark Carson, J. D. Dohnal, Anthony Krizan, David Adam Byrnes, Jay Brunswick, Marty Brown, Bobby Boyd, Phil O’Donnelll, Cooper Boone, Addison Johnson,
A.J .Croce, Heidi Raye, Lee Roy, Elaine Roy and many others.
In May of 2002 Writers-In House Music, by then an incorporated entity moved its base of operation to Nashville’s Music Row. The publishing company was first located on 16th Avenue for a year and then relocated at 707 18th Avenue South, Nashville, TN. Opening the office on Music Row a number of opportunities with
developing artists and song writers from large publishing companies.
Mark Houser and Jack Greene at The Bluebird Cafe
In November of 2003 Grand Ole Opry legend Jack Greene released a Houser- Bilbrey- Candy Carpenter collaboration entitled “Red, White, and Blue Christmas” and performed the song to a standing ovation at the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium during the Holiday season of 2003. The song has been performed at numerous Opry shows since.
In 2006 Houser had a single released in Australia called “It’s Time”, sung by native Australian Scott Dann, which reached #43 on the Austrlian Independent Chart. Also in late 2006 the bluegrass song “Seven Miles From Wichita” was released and eventually reached #1 on one chart, #2 on another and #6 on the Bluegrass Unlimited Chart. The song was the most played song of 2007 on Sirius radio. It was sung by Carrie Hassler & Hard Rain and also on the album was the song Hard Rain written by Houser and Jimmy Bilbrey. A video of Seven Miles From Wichita received some airplay as well.
In 2009 Houser had a video released of Sometimes I Just Feel Like That by Memarie Gayle who also became a contestant on Can You Duet. That song along with She’s All That from Cooper Boone’s CD received write-ups in Country Music Weekly. Arlo Gilliam’s solo CD’s included several songs Houser co-wrote songs with Gilliam, known from his bass guitar as a member of the band Emerson Drive as well as stints with Luke Bryan, Trent Willmon, and Travis Tritt. David Adam’s Brynes CD Premium Country relelased in late 2010 included the songs Maybe She Won’t Go and That’s What I Tell Myself. While Russell Hitckcock’s (Air Supply) CD "The Nashville Sessions" was released in January 2011 includes the Houser co-write It’s Okay.
Bluegrass fans will recognize The Roy's New Day Shining album, which featured a Houser co-write titled Winding Roads.
The Little River Band recorded a song written by Houser and Rich Herring that was included on their cuts Liker A Diamond album and the song is also included on the Little River Band's box set titled The Box. LRB has sold over 30 million records.
Houser has over 1,000 songs in his catalog and with over 100 songs recorded in his career, including two number one songs as a writer and one as an artist.
Houser has a B.S. Degree from Tennessee Tech University and is a former assistant football coach at White County High School (1980, 2012-15), Livingston Academy (1993-98 and 2007), Clay County (2018) and Jackson County (2006, 2008-11, 2016-17, 2019-20).
He is the Field Office Manager for the Tennessee Department of Health, Division of General Environmental Health. He served as three-time President of the Tennessee Environmental Health Association and was named the Lynn B. Hearn Tennessee Environmentalist of the Year in 2008. He is a member of the Tennessee Environmental Hall of Fame at East Tennessee State University. He also serves on the Advisory Board at the college of Environmental Health at ETSU and as a member of the National Environmental Health Accreditation Council.
Houser also is a minister having worked with churches in Jackson, Overton and white counties of Tennessee.