Album:The Definitive Collection
Though Jacob's Ladder wasn't country singer Mark Wills' biggest hit, it was his first top ten hit in 1996. I would describe him as a second tier neo traditionalist country singer. He had some chart success but didn't reach the heights of the big stars of the era. He was born Daryl Mark Williams Aug. 6, 1973 in Cleveland, TN and grew up in Blue Ridge, GA. He grew up listening to country music but got into hard rock as a teen. Then he got back into country and won a local talent contest. While playing a local club, he was spotted by veteran producers Carson Chamberlain and Keith Stegall. They brought him to Nashville and Wills signed with Mercury Records. They produced his 1996 debut CD mark Wills. Jacob's Ladder was the second single and it reached #6 on the Country Singles chart. The song was written by veteran songwriter Tony Martin and Cal & Brenda Sweat. Martin wrote the Joe Diffie hit Third Rock From The Sun. Though Places I've Never Been also hit the top ten, the album sales were disappointing. Wills' 1997 album Wish You Were Here got him established. It was certified Platinum and the single Wish You Were Here was his first number one hit single. His 2000 CD Permanently also did well and Wills' cover of Brian McKnight's Back At One was a top five hit. Wills was starting to fade. The duet with Jamie O'Neal I'm Not Going To Do Anything Without You was disappointing. He had one final hurrah when 19 Somethin' from Wills' 2003 Greatest Hits CD became his second and final number one country hit. After one more CD, Wills left Mercury. You can get all his hits on this budget comp. Since then Wills has recorded for small labels. His latest CD was released in June 2011. He still tours but Mark Wills is not heading back to the top of the country charts anytime soon. Here's Mark Wills performing Jacob's Ladder on Deep Rock Drive April 2008.