This site is a tribute to Mark Hardwick (1954-1993)

A Word About Mark!
Pump Boys and Dinettes Photographs
Early Pump Boys poster, before the Dinettes
1980 review of PUMP BOYS with great stuff about Mark; also including an October Cat's Cradle poster
Mark as Cowboy, giving organ concert, as Mr. Peepers, in Early Bird Special band, as 'Miss Mabel' in RADIO GALS
Family Portrait?
3 pix of Mark taken by Meredith Ludwig in early 80's
YouTube RADIO GALS clip -- nice excerpt from the l993 Blowing Rock Stage Company production, the only one Mark got to direct.

April 18, 2023 - moving with the times, it was a chia seed lemon tea cake this year!

A couple of years ago Debra Monk took part in an evening of song in NYC called "If It Only Runs a Minute", devoted to great but not so well known musicals of the near past. She did a song that she and Mark and I wrote, "Ohio Afternoon" from OIL CITY SYMPHONY. Here's a YouTube clip of Deb's part.. She reminisces about S.M.U., and Mark, & "Cloggers for Christ" & Pumpboys! Then she sits down at the drums to accompany herself on the song.


The best course is to pray "Lord make me happy with awareness of Thee. Give me freedom from all earthly desires, and above all give me Thy joy that oulasts all the happy and sad experiences of life". --Spiritual Diary of Paramahansa Yogananda for April 18th (Mark's birthday)

"The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand.
The angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone."

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Om Marky Om

I have been meaning to write something on this web site, but it's been hard to do. A friend finally fussed at me, and said there should be more information about Mark. There will be!

The first time I saw Mark he had come to Chapel Hill with Jim Wann in something called "The Country Cabaret" I think. It was a kind of predecessor of Pump Boys and Dinettes. I thought Mark looked like a genius -- like young Franz Schubert -- with his curly dark hair and little glasses. Make that Franz Schubert crossed with Jerry Lee Lewis, because although Mark could play Chopin, Ravel, and Rachmoninoff, he could rock too. "Come on, Mark," Gary Bristol used to tell him, "play the piano with your feet!" And he just about would.

Before too long Mark and I became best friends and partners and that relationship lasted for over eight years. I even picked up and left Chapel Hill and moved to New York because life was just more fun with Marky and I didn't want to waste a minute of it. We sure had a great time (and also somehow managed to write two shows together: "Oil City Symphony", and "Radio Gals".)

Louis Mark Hardwick was born in East Texas and graduated from Mirabeau Beauregard Lamar High School for the Performing Arts in Houston. He graduated from Southern Methodist University and IMMEDIATELY went to New York City where he became a musician, actor, writer composer and all around personality! He composed the incidental music for the the 1975 Broadway production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, starring James Earl Jones. He was crowned one of the "New Faces" of the NYC theatrical world in the early 80's. He helped develop and perform on Broadway in "Pump Boys and Dinettes", along with Jim Wann, Cass Morgan, Debra Monk, John Foley and John Schimmel. Mark had roles in Woody Allen's "Broadway Danny Rose" -- Mark played the "Blind Accordion Player", and also the Paul Brickman film "Men Don't Leave" (1990) with Jessica Lange, Joan Cusack, Kathy Bates and Chris O'Donnell. Mark was the best and most versatile pop piano player I have ever heard, bar none. Long-time Broadway music contractor John Miller admired Mark's musical chops and demeanor so much that he deemed him "legendary"! He was also the funniest and most mugging-est piano player I'd ever seen, kind of a walking talking singing dancing Don Martin cartoon come to life. Mark was drawn by the late Al Hirschfeld, not once, but TWICE!: once for PUMP BOYS, and once for OIL CITY . Pretty good for a kid from Hughes Springs, Texas. I'll try to put up more stuff as it is contributed or found. If you have something to share please get in touch with me here and I'll post it.

Paul Ukena remembers an occasion in the early days when he was in the Pump Boys band. "The four of us had a very memorable trip to Chapel Hill to iron out the kinks and give our first public performance of The Pump Boys; at that point it was just Jim Wann, John Foley, Mark, and me. It was road trip - we drove down there (I can't remember whose car it was; it may have been mine) in late 1980 or early 1981. I remember laughing most of the way down. And that's what I remember most about Mark - laughing. He was an irrepressible spirit; in my mind's eye I see him bouncing at the piano, feet and hands purposefully waving and pounding, his face alight and joyful. Mark was indefatigably cheerful. His grin would just split his face open, and he would laugh and say my name with his Texas accent and an "I-can't-believe-you-just-said-that!" attitude. I loved his Prof. Longhair piano style, his barrel house piano style, his gospel piano style - well, he was a consummate piano stylist." (11/20/2014)

Paul has shared this link to a bunch of Pump Boys songs and more -- recorded before the original New York production

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Mark and Scotty Merrick playing for schoolkids in Barrow, AK.

updated 4/18/23