| Home Online Store NEW CD!! Schedule Contact Me
In Loving Memory of Carol Parks Blog Biography Photo Gallery
Alan Parks is the second (and last) son born to Godly parents, Bill and Jeanette Parks. Born on April 2, 1953, Alan was welcomed into a family where Christian values were preeminent. He often says that his parents had two great prayers: to see their boys saved, and then to see them love and serve the Lord Jesus.
Alan and his big brother, Lindsay, grew up in a home where the only music that was listened to was Christian music. After his conversion in February of 1966, the Parks Brothers began to sing together; Lindsay played accordian and piano, Alan played guitar and bass, and they practiced fairly continuously. When Lin was nearly 18, and Alan 15, their Mom called a local radio station, whose owner promoted Gospel concerts, and convinced him that "her boys" needed to be in one of his summer concert lineups. He asked for a demo tape, one was made, and on August 15, 1968, The Parks Brothers debuted as a duet, in a concert that had around 1500 in the audience. Alan often says that he was so nervous beforehand, that Lin had to tie his tie for him! But, things must have gone fairly well, as they received four invitations to participate in future concerts that August night. And so it began.
As The Parks Brothers, the boys recorded two albums featuring songs written and played by two businessmen, along with other local artists. Eventually, they recorded two albums on their own: "A Day I Shall Never Forget", and "Singing His Praises". The latter was recorded at Electric Arts Studios, owned by a family that would figure prominently in Alan's future, The Happy Goodman Family. Sometime later, Lin's wife Diane joined the boys, and they became known as The Parks Brothers and Diane. As a trio, they sang in many concerts, and recorded albums entitled "We Love To Tell The Story", and one that featured the trio on 5 songs, and Alan on the other 5: "The Parks Brothers and Diane - Featuring Alan". As Lindsay's hectic schedule in medical school, and the need to raise their two children grew, Lin and Diane bowed out, and this last trio project set the stage for Alan's solo career.
Alan's first solo offering can only be called his signature project, "Hymns I Grew Up With". Thanks largely to his rendition of "My Redeemer", Alan still says that this album, and that one song in particular, has opened almost every musical door that he's been priviledged to walk through since 1975. "My Redeemer" became a #1 national song on the Singing News Contemporary chart - twice - and eventually was the most - requested Christian song in numerous other countries as well. Thanks to many worldwide radio networks, it has been estimated that "My Redeemer" was heard on every continent of the world, every day, for more than 20 years. Another album featuring those worship hymns - "William Alan Parks" - was recorded mostly in Nashville, utilizing the talents of musicians and singers that were Alan's heroes: Henry Strzelecki, Charlie McCoy, Jimmie Capps, Eddie Crook, David Reese, and others, and vocal backing was provided by the legendary Jordanaires, who had gained fame as Elvis Presley's backup singers. These two projects have been sold in 178 countries of the world. A third album of worship hymns - "Believers Hymns of Worship - was recorded by the legendary engineer Chuck Seitz, featuring the piano artistry and production of Charles Novell, along with many members of the Cincinnatti Symphony Orchestra. Alan's final album before a long hiatus was a collection of ten favorite hymns, such as "Amazing Grace", "Beyond The Sunset", etc., entitled "Spend A Day With Me". Released on a label of the giant Word Records corporation, this project was available in every store in the world that sold Christian music. All of these projects were either solely produced or co-produced with a man who became Alan's dear friend and mentor, Rusty Goodman. Rusty, a Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter, arranged the original "My Redeemer", as well as many of the songs on Alan's first solo projects. Above all, Rusty was a friend...a hero, who came to invest of himself in Alan's life and early career. Rusty died - way too young - in 1990, and hardly an evening with Alan has taken place since, where Alan hasn't sung at least one or two Rusty songs.
By this time, Alan had married a Wisconsin girl, Carol (Aspenson). Their first child, a daughter, Shannon, was born in 1978. Just 20 months later, they welcomed Alan, Jr. Alan worked in secular work for some years, still traveling on weekends, speaking and singing, but as a family, they sold the motorhome and put down roots. Following a job-related move to the Annapolis, MD area, their third child, Devin, was born in Annapolis. And, life continued until May of 1989, when Alan answered the call again to full-time service for the Lord, and that remains until now. Alan's Mom, Jeanette, died in September of 2003. His Dad, Bill, was slowly failing by the end of 2004, and coupled with that, Carol was diagnosed with two primary cancers; one of which, endometrial cancer, claimed her life on March 23, 2005, just 24 days after Alan's Dad was called Home to Heaven. These compounded human sorrows prompted Alan to take some months off from the ministry he'd been called to; to heal, and be with his children.
In 2001, Alan had recorded an album entitled "Day and Night" at the Gaither Studios in Alexandria, IN. He often remarks that this project seems prophetic, given that within 17 months, he'd lose his Mom, Dad, and wife. It's a quiet album of songs from the journey, that bring healing...but also songs which speak of Home. Rusty Goodman's songs "Look For Me (For I Will Be There Too)", "Leaving on My Mind", and others, seem to have been preparing Alan for the journey that he'd soon be walking. This is still a hugely popular album, and is possibly his favorite one since "Hymns I Grew Up With". The Gaithers pulled out all the stops for him on this recording. Of his backing vocalists, three have been featured soloists on the "Homecoming" videos and DVD's. One, Marshall Hall, until recently sang baritone in The Gaither Vocal Band. Alan's concerts still feature as many as five of the songs from this album. The musicians who worked on "Day and Night" tour with the Gaither Homecoming Tour, Sandi Patty, and many other well-known artists.
Losing so many loved ones, so quickly, got Alan thinking of the reality of Heaven in new ways. But, he hadn't sung a note publicly in many months, and knew that he needed something to get him back into the saddle again. He recorded a new project in Lake Mary, FL, which features twelve songs of Heaven, hope, and several which deal honestly with the pain of loss. "I Dream Of Heaven" is a themed album, and it will always occupy a niche all its own. Producer Rick Morris engineered an amazing project; live strings, horns, lush backing vocals, and unique arrangements. "I Dream..." features a blending of older and newer songs, as well as three of Alan's compositions, and one written for him by his brother Lindsay, that has become a favorite of many. While it's good for every Christian to focus on Heaven, the special comments from this album have come from people who have lost loved ones of their own: a spouse of many years, a son in Iraq, so many treasured letters have been received. No amount of money could replace the humbling joy that Alan has received from the contact of these dear people who have shared the same journey that he was asked to walk. After many evenings with Alan, people have waited their turn to share with him their own unique stories, and what this album has meant to them. Often, a project will come to produce one, two, or maybe three songs that people will identify as their favorite. "I Dream of Heaven" is unique, in that all twelve of the songs have been identified by listeners as their personal favorite! Rare indeed, but proof that the songs that so ministered to Alan in his loss, also touch others who have suffered loss as well.
On May 25, 2008, Alan married the new love of his life - a Houston girl named Dawna. God has been so good; Dawna has filled every corner of Alan's world - and his childrens' - and travels with him now in their international speaking and singing ministry. Dawna's two sons now add to a blended family of four sons and a daughter, a son-in-law, and, as of March, 2010, a daughter-in-law. Alan and Dawna divide their time between Alan's adopted hometown of Myrtle Beach, SC (since early 1997) and Dawna's home outside of Houston, TX. They fly a lot - sometimes more than 20 flights in a month - and will often travel to their dates in a diesel motor coach when they drive.
Alan has always maintained that he's beyond honored to have "the best of both worlds", in that since 1989, he has also traveled as a speaker - visiting hundreds of churches, as a conference speaker, and in evangelism. Being blessed to both speak and sing, he feels "fresh", as neither gets mundane or boring!
A typical evening with Alan will last between 75 and 90 minutes. He will sing along with sound tracks for some songs, and while some prefer live music, these segments allow him to relax a little, and maintain eye contact with the audience. As well, after investing so many thousands of dollars into assuring that the music on his albums is as close to perfect as possible, it just seems common sense that some songs will sound best when singing with accompaniment tracks. Alan so often gets requests to accompany himself on piano - a fact that he can never quite understand - and every concert features a significant number of songs at the piano. It will be in this segment that Alan will normally ask for audience favorites, often as many as 5-6 songs each night. After losing too many good guitars to breakage through the years, Alan rarely flies any of his guitars these days; but when they drive to a date, many concerts will feature a few songs in which he'll accompany himself on one of his guitars. Alan would be the first to tell you that he isn't a "performer", but rather, a minister in music. His evenings are often quiet, but he can't resist some fun at times. Above all, his desire is that the Lord will be honored and magnified, alone.
Since that hot August night, now more than 40 years ago, Alan has traveled over 5,000,000 miles, and stood before more than 13,000 audiences. His travels have taken him to 58 countries of the world with the Gospel. A long way indeed, from the young boy who used to stand behind a hair brush taped to a pole, pretending that it was his microphone, and out in front of him was a sea of people to sing to. In the words of the marvelous Sara Groves song that Alan chose to end "I Dream of Heaven" with, "He's Always Been Faithful To Me". (Above text largely reprinted from a newspaper article on Alan)
The newest pictures of Alan, Dawna, their family and travels can be found on Alan's Facebook site. We invite you to request him to be your Facebook friend! Facebook is free, and a fun way to connect and reconnect with many friends. Once you register, search for "Alan Parks, Myrtle Beach, SC". You'll find hundreds of photos, all of Alan's blogs from this website, and his latest news. We hope to see you there!