The former lead singer and co-founder of Paul Revere & the Raiders, Mark Lindsay was born in Oregon but raised in Idaho, where he began his career as the rockabilly singer in Freddy Chapman's Idaho Playboys. His bandmates were the guitar playing brothers Dick and "Mooney" White.
The White Brothers had another gig playing rock and roll in the Red Hughes Band. Red later hired Paul Revere Dick on piano to join them. One night at the IOOF Hall in Caldwell, Idaho, Mark Lindsay showed up to listen, but he soon ripped off his glasses and made his way blindly to the stage, then impulsively asked if he could sing a song. He did, relished the crowd response for a few moments, and then – overcome with shyness – hastily left the hall.
The next morning, Mark was back at his job at McClure's Bakery. Covered in flour, wearing his baker's hat, and with his coke-bottle glasses back on, he was soon visited by Revere, who had come in to pick up buns for his hamburger stand. While Mark wrapped the order, Revere started talking about an incident that had happened at the dance that he played the night before. “It was the weirdest thing!” said Revere. “In the middle of the show, this skinny kid with a crazy look in his eye came up to the stage and asked to sing a song. So we let him.” Mark, knowing full well who the stranger was, casually asked,“How was he?” “Not bad,” Revere admitted. “It was ME!” replied Mark. Thus began the Lindsay-Revere association.
Mark began sitting in regularly with the Red Hughes band and began to attract his own following, which Red didn't appreciate. It all came to a head the night Red took his date to the prom, and showed up late to the gig. Mark was on stage rocking out with the band when Red came in the door, and he was furious. That night he delivered an ultimatum to the band. “If you ever let Lindsay on the stage again, I'll fire the whole band!”
With that ultimatum, the band quit, and approached Mark about starting a new band with him as lead singer. They were nameless for a few months, but then called themselves The Downbeats, after Mark noticed a Downbeat magazine on his sax teacher's coffee table and suggested it.
The group recorded some demos and got their first contract with Gardena Records in 1961. Owner John Guss, after reviewing the document, noticed the full name of Paul Revere Dick and suggested it would make a good gimmick. And thus the band was christened Paul Revere and the Raiders.
A contract with Columbia Records in 1963, many personnel changes, 720+ network TV appearances, and seventeen Top 20 hits later, with Mark Lindsay on all the Raider hits' lead vocals (plus his solo hit "Arizona"), it's still hard for him to believe that a shy, skinny, geeky farm kid could have been so lucky. “Indian Reservation,” “Kicks,” “Hungry,” and “Good Thing” and many others have become radio classics.
After selling his half of the Raiders' partnership in 1975, Mark left the group that he had co-founded with four other starry-eyed kids from Idaho -- Paul Revere, Robert "Mooney" White, Dick White, and Jerry Labrum. After a stint as VP of A&R at United Artists, he concentrated on commercial work, although he released a few singles as well.
Mark began touring again in 1985, and still tours as a solo artist, appearing on four recent Happy Together tours as well as with his own band. Of course, continues his passion of creating new music.
His recording of “Treat Her Right” with Los Straitjackets in 2001 was cited by author Stephen King in his column for Entertainment Weekly. "This remake of Roy Head's 1965 soul hit smokes. And Mark Lindsay sounds so good you just gotta wonder where he was all those years.”
The Guardian (UK) said of his contribution to The Grip Weeds' 2011 Christmas album, “The standout is “Santa Make Me Good”, with former Paul Revere & the Raiders singer Mark Lindsay."
Mark and Susan Cowsill collaborated on a duet project in 2016, entitled Love is Strange, and included pop classics such as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".
Acclaimed filmmaker Quentin Tarantino included four Raider tunes (three of which Mark wrote or co-wrote) in his latest hit movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and even included a vintage video clip from the TV show that Mark co-hosted, Happening. Three of the movie songs are included on the official movie soundtrack.
With Deb, his wife of thirty years, and one cool cat, Mark lives his life in motion, and can be found traveling the world by tour bus or ship, or perhaps taking a break for a minute in Florida or on the New England coast.