Campfire Chronicles

Campfire Chronicles
Welcome to the Weekly Campfire Chronicles for One of Those Times in a Life where Mark Pearson shares the musical journey that is his life. It is an ongoing journey of more than forty years as singer, songwriter, member of The Brothers Four, and someone who continues to try to understand and explain what it means to be fully human and finally home. Join the journey at the website and become part of the conversation at the Mark Pearson Music Facebook Page.

Apr 25, 2017
It has been a while since we lit the 41st campfire. In the interim I have written a number of new songs and recorded a 15 song CD. I am also getting ready for a concert to celebrate the release of the new album and the lighting of the 49th and final…
41: The Road To Going Home
Oct 31, 2016 • 19 min
In the summer of 2004 I released a solo CD called “The Missing Peace.” At the same time my lifelong friend, Mike McCoy, joined me in The Brothers Four and during the 2004-2005 concert season The Brothers Four did a series of performances in the US with…
40: The Road That Leads Us Home
Sep 15, 2016 • 24 min
The 40th campfire talks about the spring of 2004. That season I successfully completed the vocals for my most ambitious solo album, there were significant personnel changes within The Brothers Four, and I had a life altering moment with my older brother.…
39: Finding My Way Home
Aug 7, 2016 • 19 min
In the 38th Campfire the long held and deep-seated fears that resided so long in my unconscious were found and freed and soon running wild. In this, the 39th Campfire, those fears begin to be given names and faces and in the naming and facing them I am…
38: What I Was Most Afraid Of
Jun 25, 2016 • 18 min
It has been a while since we have lit a campfire…this 38th campfire talks about events in 2001. In the spring of that year I shared a book I created with a few family and friends. The manuscript contained my journey for “authenticity, belonging, and…
37: Leap of Faith
Jun 3, 2015 • 25 min
Between September of 1998 and October of 2000 The Brothers Four performed more than 150 times in the US and in Japan. It was the only time the group ever traveled around America by tour bus. It still amazes me the group is going strong after 55 years.…
36: Season of the Heart
Mar 8, 2015 • 21 min
My father died on May 28, 1997, the day before my mother’s 75th birthday. It was heartbreakingly unexpected. A month or so after he died I made a decision to make him the focus of my work for one year. At the end of the year I had created a musical memoir…
35: One Love and Two Lives
Jan 28, 2015 • 22 min
At a concert in Seattle on March 22, 1997 every singing group I had ever been a part of beginning with one in high school appeared on stage together. A week later in a concert in Spokane I was the opening act as well as one of The Brothers Four. Looking…
34: Moment of Truth
Nov 21, 2014 • 22 min
In September of 1995 McCoy and I celebrated 30 years of friendship. For his birthday that month I gave him a songbook containing 52 original songs that we had sung through the years. At the time I saw that book and those songs as a culmination. Little did…
33: Let Love Go Forward
Oct 14, 2014 • 24 min
1995 was a year of writing songs for friends and family as well as for sale. I wrote songs for Pat’s and my wedding, Lindsey’s graduation, and for a concert celebrating 30 years of music and friendship with Mike McCoy. Of all the songs I wrote that year…
32: On A New Day
Aug 26, 2014 • 30 min
Beginning in March of 1994 there were a dozen moments or events that continued to remind me how close life is to death and how near love is to loss. While those experiences gave me pause and stopped me in my tracks they did not stop me from embracing life…
31: With Me Wherever I Go
Jul 16, 2014 • 24 min
My cousin Jane died twenty years ago a few months before her 41st birthday. This Campfire describes the time from her diagnosis-November of 1992-until her death in March of 1994. As I re-remembered that time there was much I had forgotten while some of it…
30: You Are the One
Apr 11, 2014 • 22 min
The early 90’s brought significant changes in my life and career. I became an instant family man. The Brothers Four committed to performing more including frequent tours of Japan and regular tours around the US. It also was a time when I worked as a…
29: What A Wonderful World
Feb 18, 2014 • 19 min
As I began to write about The Brothers Four’s connection to Japan and the Japanese people it all became more amazing. I realize that I have gone to Japan to perform for 45 years and the group has been going for more than 52 years. It is a connection that…
28: Heart of the Heartland
Jan 6, 2014 • 18 min
One of Those Times in a Life is a continuing journey of Gratitude and Grace as well as Memory and Discovery. It had been years since I thought about and remembered a solo concert I did in the fall of 1987. It was only in remembering it all those years…
27: Some Brothers and a Mother
Nov 4, 2013 • 26 min
Not long ago I was talking with a friend and told her that One of Those Times in a Life was sort of a Thank you and I’m sorry Tour. That is a humorous way of saying that it is a Journey of Gratitude and Grace. It has been a chance to get in touch with…
26: Not Through Loving Yet
Oct 8, 2013 • 28 min
There have been a few times in a lifetime where I have suffered a crisis of faith. The summer of 1983 was one such time. In the year that followed I found out that it was still worth loving even when it meant losing…an important lesson. I continue to be…
25b: Dear Partner Part 2
Sep 12, 2013 • 20 min
When I was in grade school I remember someone coming up and asking, “Did you hear about the guy who swam across the ocean got half way across and realized he couldn’t make it so he turned around and went back.” Well, it’s too late to turn around now. With…
25: Dear Partner Part One
Aug 19, 2013 • 26 min
Of all the Chronicles this may have been the most challenging. That is part of why it took so long to finish. I have also spent time in these last few months doing Campfire Concerts. It’s been great to do more live performances. The Mission Statement for…
Campfire24: Joanne and the Sandman
May 31, 2013 • 26 min
One of the bigger challenges of sharing a life and the stories that make up that life is finding ways to tell my story and stories while trying not to tell the stories or intrude on the privacy of people I love. For a hundred years my family had a…
23: Between Friends
May 17, 2013 • 27 min
It is a gift to relive a significant moment that took place long ago and to see it and feel it again with the perspective of time and space. It is challenging to build a bridge of words across the years and try to connect who I was then with who I am…
22: Mad Man on a High Wire
Apr 25, 2013 • 23 min
Mike McCoy and I have been friends and have sung together for nearly 50 years now. Nine years ago he joined me in The Brothers Four. Between the fall of 1979 and 1987 my musical career (except for The Brothers Four) was tied to McCoy. It is what I am…
21: Starting Over
Mar 22, 2013 • 25 min
One of Those Times in a Life has been a chance for me to learn or become aware of so many things. As I built the last campfire I learned (on a deeper more profound level) that so much of my journey is finding my way home. Building this campfire I realized…
20: Los Angeles
Mar 6, 2013 • 23 min
Creating this campfire I realized on some significant level that One of Those Times in a Life is about finding my way home. It has been the journey of a lifetime. I am filled with gratitude for a chance to be able to make such a journey.
19: Journey of Discovery
Dec 13, 2012 • 25 min
This Chronicle is dedicated to my teammates. It is something to think of them and those times and to weave our shared experiences into a larger life’s tapestry all these years later.This Chronicle mentions games the University of Washington played against…
18: Nashville
Nov 18, 2012 • 23 min
As usual this chronicle took longer than I thought it would. It is also more satisfying than I could have imagined. A few days ago I realized that each of these Chronicles is like having a conversation with myself from an earlier time. During the first…
17: Minneapolis
Oct 23, 2012 • 22 min
It is an amazing adventure to journey around a life and a career, to find the contour of collected memories. It makes a difference that I am still writing songs, recording, performing and growing as a person in the midst of all this looking back.
16: Vashon Island
Sep 14, 2012 • 18 min
This has been a hard Chronicle to create. I realize more than ever how important songwriting is and has been to this journey of a lifetime, how much it has added and continues to add to my life and to each strand of my career. I am filled with gratitude…
15: Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound
Aug 10, 2012 • 16 min
Each of the seven stages is essential to the journey all are important chapters in the story. It took longer than I thought to find the heartbeat of this, the third stage to rediscover the wonder, the tears, the laughter, the joy of that time now long ago.
14: Fantasy Land
Jul 19, 2012 • 17 min
Sometime in the preparation of each Chronicle I am reminded of The Old Man in the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. In that story the old man went out further and fished deeper waters than he had ever done before. Even after he had hooked his mighty fish there was…
13: The Night John Denver Opened for the Brothers Four
Jul 2, 2012 • 10 min
There are artists who played roles in the Folk Revival who had significant careers beyond folk music. John Phillips founded The Mamas and Papas after The Journeymen disbanded. Roger McGuinn left The Chad Mitchell Trio to help form The Byrds. Kenny Rogers…
12: When Johnny Comes Marchin’ Home
Jun 19, 2012 • 13 min
It breaks my heart to think of the amount of weapons our country continues to export to the rest of the world. It is also heartbreaking to think of how much the song When Johnny Comes Marchin’ Home continues to resonate.To watch and download the HD…
11: First Trip to Japan
Jun 4, 2012 • 14 min
It is something to be remembering those first trips to Japan while creating new memories on my 30th trip to Japan. It is one of the great gifts of my life to grow up and now grow old with Japan remaining a big and important part of my life and career.
10: I Believe
May 21, 2012 • 12 min
It is something to be able to finally tell my whole story. I was quite emotional when I was working on this Chronicle. There are so many things involved in changing the course of a lifetime. I talked to my mom and my brothers about what I am doing. They…
9: Lets Get Together
Apr 30, 2012 • 14 min
One of Those Times in a Life is truly underway. I shared the journey with a live audience last week. The Trail Map will soon be ready to share. While there is still so much to do it feels like things are beginning to slow down a little. At the same time…
8: Green Fields Tonight
Mar 29, 2012 • 13 min
It is fun to begin the next stage of this journey. The Brothers Four videos were recorded recently in the Wheeler Theater at Fort Worden near Port Townsend. I don’t think we have ever sat around and simply sung while the cameras rolled. The videos should…
7: Sometimes I Just Have to Find a Mountain
Feb 27, 2012 • 11 min
It continues to surprise me how long it takes to create a context while breathing life into the content of this project and journey. I never assumed it would be easy, but I didn’t appreciate how complicated and difficult it would be at times. Part of that…
6: Introducing Mike McCoy
Jan 26, 2012 • 13 min
Much of the recent cultural conversation appears to reinforce the notion that we are all in this alone. The social contract we began writing in the 1930’s that includes things like Social Security, the GI Bill, the Interstate Highway System, the Voting…
5: The Mourning Ryde
Jan 4, 2012 • 15 min
A Moment to ReflectLately it seems that while life may take a long time that it is over much too soon. It is hard to believe that I’ve been singing with Mike McCoy for more than forty-six years and it’s been forty-three years since I started singing with…
4: A Folksinger
Dec 28, 2011 • 8 min
From the British Invasion to the 1967 Monterey Pops FestivalIn 1963 it was cool to call yourself a folk singer. By the time I turned seventeen in March of 1964 The Beatles had appeared and folk music quickly lost its cool and commercial appeal. Roger…
3: The Missing Peace
Dec 21, 2011 • 15 min
A Page Filled with Gratitude… One of the best parts of the last year has been having a chance to work with an amazing group of talented people while getting ready to share this journey of songs and stories. Here are some of the people who are invaluable…
2: America in Black and White (1956-1965)
Dec 13, 2011 • 16 min
The Seven Stages of a JourneyThis forty-nine week journey is divided into seven stages of seven weeks each. The first seven weeks we will be spending time at the “base camp” telling stories and singing songs. It is also a chance to see how everything is…
1: One of Those Times in A Life
Dec 2, 2011 • 8 min
Welcome to the first of 49 weekly episodes to be posted on my website,, as a way of sharing my life and career in songs and stories. Each episode will offer a different song video that can be looked at individually or seen as part of…