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Read Don's journey from starving artist to web entrepeneur.
    The 700 Club
Don explains how he records music with the help of Chris Sligh.
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    American Idol
Behind the scenes of America's top-rated show.
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American Idol:

Have you ever had someone say something to you that you needed to hear at just the right time? Proverbs 25:11 says "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." At a worship conference where I was speaking, another workshop teacher, Steve Bowersox, said something to me along the lines of "we create resources that help the entire church instead of a single church." That put into words something I had been feeling - that it was time for me to quit my church job and concentrate completely on my music and websites.

I left the church where I was working part time and began playing in the band at Seacoast Greenville. The Seacoast network of churches is an interesting story in itself - a church that's growing all around the south by planting what is called "video venues."

At Seacoast I met Chris Sligh. We had both come from very similar, ultra conservative backgrounds and hit it off instantly.

Chris especially enjoyed my Nashville war stories and had a few of his own. For instance, how do you manage to win a GMA songwriting contest, not get a publishing deal and end up working a dead-end telemarketing job?

Chris was considering giving up music altogether. One his 9-5 friends told him that it was time to get a real job and forget his music career. I couldn't believe Chris didn't have a record deal - great voice and a fantastic songwriting talent. Then again, isn't the music biz all about image. And, well, Chris does love his chicken wings!

I think Chris just needed a little reminder that he did have talent and I gave him a little push in the right direction. I like to encourage people to follow their dreams, so I drove him to the first Idol audition in Birmingham last August 2006. He made it. We went again a month later and he made it through to the second round, singing for Idol's executive producers. On a third trip Chris got his golden ticket from Randy, Simon and Paula.

Then Chris made it to the top 40, then to the top 20. I told him his career was set by this point, so don't worry about it. It would just be icing on the cake if he could get to the top 10 and go on the Idol Tour all summer. He made it and was voted off the show at #10. As of this writing, the guy who was ignored by Nashville for years has 11 record labels, both secular and Christian, after him. He's on tour all summer with American Idol and won't have to worry about paying rent for awhile.

Needless to say, this has been quite an adventurous year for me. You can read more about my American Idol experience at my blog:

What's It Like To Be On American Idol

What's It Like To Be On American Idol Part 2

What's It Like To Be On American Idol Part 3

American Idol Timeline at HymnCharts

The Final Idol Adventure

Orchestrating Chris Sligh's CD

Next: Update 2008.

Copyright (c) 2007