Singer, musician and songwriter Frank Martin Gilligan is back with new music and a new outlook on life after time away from the business and a health scare.
In the mid-1980s, Gilligan, Jerry Dengler and Rick Henderson were a country music band called Mason Dixon that often performed in East Texas.
From 1985 to 1990, Mason Dixon had several Top 50 hits. The band's biggest record, "3935 West End Avenue," cracked the Top 40 and received national airplay.
When Mason Dixon broke up in 1993, Gilligan settled down in Tomball, where he had various jobs and raised a family.
In 2009, just when Gilligan was ready to resume his music career, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and began a long process of treatment and recovery.
"Chemotherapy is what really ruined my hands. I had neuropathy, nerve damage. I couldn't play guitar. I couldn't even make a chord, and that was pretty scary," he said in an article printed on his website.
Gilligan feared his days of making music were forever behind him. When he finally got better, he was anxious to return to his first love.
In 2013, Gilligan won a songwriting competition. He then entered a song in the prestigious Kerrville Folk Songwriting Competition and received even more accolades.
Gilligan since has recorded "Silver Dollar," an album of country, folk and Americana songs and is back on stage performing. He is booked for a show on Dec. 5 at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts.
Tom Tranchilla of KPFT radio in Houston praised "Silver Dollar" in a published music review for having "all the elements of great songwriting and soaring vocals, combined with excellent side musicians and vocalists, to produce a Grammy-worthy project."
"Silver Dollar" can be downloaded on iTunes or purchased on his website, frankmar