Donald Purkey

Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, Donald Purkey, Songwriter, SMSWF, Gatlinburg, TNDonald Purkey born October 13th 1955. He and his cousin Jack Purkey raised in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains with their families and a whole host of cousins and friends. They lived along a narrow dirt road in Mooresburg, Tn. Early in life they knew the lord wanted them to write and sing gospel music. There was never enough money for music lessons so they relied on each other and the LORD. They were raised in a small church on Slate Hill Road in Mooresburg and that meant something to them. Every Sunday the church bell would ring and every one in the community knew it was GODS day. Donald’s mother was a gospel singer at that country church, such a spirited woman. Donald never took piano or guitar or vocal lessons but can play most instruments. He has played country music in many venues early but turned his life around to gospel and the words and music started coming freely. Not saying he has been in church the whole time he left church for a while to drive a truck over the road to make a better life for him, his wife Karen and stepson Billy. Church and music were always a constant in his mind knowing one day he would be able to come off the road and follow his passion of music and gospel songs. Once his son was on his own with two children, Patrick and Jared Ivy. That’s when he and Jack started writing gospel music together. As a small child his mother would sing gospel songs in their home all the time, one day she found a song she thought he might help her with, well he sang his part then she sail oh! Donnie will you sing this with me at church Sunday, to say the least he ran out of the house screaming no no no so shy and backward he thought there was no way he could do that. He has certainly came a long way since then. He plays, sings and writes his music totally by ear, it comes from the heart. The night he got saved was at Slate Hill Church in Mooresburg, Tn, Service started, then they started singing amazing grace the spriit got so high the young boys had to run outside, but the windows were up because there was no air conditioner. The spirit was just as strong outside. He jumped upon the hood of a car to wait but could still feel the drawing power. He said Lord if one person comes out here then its my time no quicker than he thought that, here came someone walked right up to him and said “boy do you want to be saved?”, and he said, “I do” then jumped off the hood of the car. The Lord saved him before his feet hit the ground. Praise God for that. The first song he wrote was in 1982 at 27 years of age. The title was JUST THINK OF HOW HE FELT. Later when he got back in church he started doing the Lords work more than ever because he had missed out on so much. Since then he and Jack have written numerous songs and put out two cds. Jack has been a member of the Knoxville Songwriters Association for the past 20 years and has been to many workshops featuring award winning songwriter Kim Williams, Nashville singer songwriter Jerry Salley, and several other Nashville songwriters. His mother and father were active in Slate Hill Church until their passing. Jack always prayed and knew God would send someone along that he could get together with to write music and songs for the Lord. They have pitched their songs to several big names in gospel music. Some Artists are interested in their songs. However, Donnie and Jack write songs to glorify their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.