Mark Josephs June 2017
MARK JOSEPHS - the founder of the Tenor Guitar Foundation
Mark Elliott Josephs, was born December 19, 1949 and died January 18, 2016. He was born and raised in Ventnor, New Jersey, and resided in both Los Angeles and Astoria at the time of his death. Mark graduated from Atlantic City High School, attended Atlantic Community College and the University of Miami.
Mark started playing guitar when he was young. The first band Mark was in was called The Four Guys. One of the guys was Seth Justman, who went on to be in the J. Geils Band. After that was the Wazoos with Harvey Schrier. The Lew London Trio played at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and opened for Ann Murray, Ry Cooder and Don McLean in Saratoga Springs, New York, besides playing on many college campuses. .He was in other bands including the Gingerbread Express and Cadillac Jack. The Trio opened up for quite a few other famous performers and played in festivals that often featured historic blues players. That's how Mark learned the riffs that characterized his guitar and harmonica performances. He loved the music and that process of learning from the "oldtimers" and passing it along to the "youngsters", their music and their stories.
He was a six- string guitar player, harmonica player and singer-songwriter. He wrote over 300 songs. Later in life, Mark fell in love with the sound of the four string, tenor guitar and when he started searching the internet, found little information. He and a few others started the Tenor Guitar Registry and a website that led to TenorGuitar.org.
It was a labor of love for him, and he involved many local people and venues into making the event a successful one. One year the mayor sang and proclaimed Astoria the Unofficial Tenor Guitar Capitol of the World.
Mark loved people and music and his enthusiasm and zest for life made him an unforgettable person. He was warm, creative and artistic. Besides writing over 300 songs, he had written short stories and a children’s book.
When Mark died he was living in Los Angeles, working at Cedars Sinai Hospital. He was a unit clerk and frequently played his ukulele for patients. At the time of his death he was planning and organizing the 2016 Tenor Guitar Gathering. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2017