Don Poythress Bio
Behind Every Song
Behind every song is a story. A tale of love, ‘a moment of pain, a chapter of faith. And behind every songwriter is yet another story. For Don Poythress (pronounced Portress), his story began in Meridian, Mississippi, where both faith and music were signposts for the journey ahead.
“Country music has always captivated me,” Don remembers. “But the first music I remember learning were worship songs that my mom taught me. In particular, ‘Jesus, There’s Something About That Name.’”
Don learned the art of songwriting and performing by listening to country legends such as Johnny Cash and Glenn Campbell, and Christian artists like Dallas Holm and Dottie Rambo.
Even as a child, Don saw his story taking shape.“I knew when I was young that I was called to play and sing country music,” he says.Yet the most profound moment in Don’s young musical education took place in his childhood piano class. It was here that Don’s instructor, a deeply spiritual woman, opened his eyes to more than music.“I remember once as I was practicing,” he recalls, “She told me, ‘Now one day the Lord is going to use you in country music, and you’re going to be on the Grand Ole Opry. He’s going to use you to draw people, and you’re going to tell them about Christ.’ It was heavy stuff for a four-year-old.”
Those words of faith would prove prophetic. Today, Don is one of Nashville’s premier songwriters. His songs have been recorded by both acclaimed country and pop stars including Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Blake Shelton, Cheryl Crow, and Jake Owen and Christian artists such as Kari Jobe, Phil Whikham, Lincoln Brewster and Jaci Velasquez.
Accordingly, Don’s accolades also cross genre lines. He was nominated for CMA Song of The Year for his #1 Song by Easton Corbin “A Little More Country Than That”. And in 2006 The Martins’ recording of Don’s song “The Promise” received a Dove Award for Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year. He has also won an ASCAP award for Kellie Pickler’s hit song “Things That Never Cross A Man’s Mind” and received two other Dove Awards for Jason Crabb’s “Joseph, and Karen Peck and New River’s “Revival”.
And as his four-year-old piano teacher said, He has performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage with Roy Acuff, The Ryman Auditorium, the Bluebird Cafe and many other stages.
But regardless of the artist, Don always tries to stay true to his spiritual heritage.“Whether it’s country or Christian music,” Don notes, “I try to write in a way that reflects my faith."