In a quiet studio, Douglas Haines sits with his guitar and strums out a soothing melody as he croons a country ballad of a love lost. It is not the first song Haines has ever written, but it is “the one” he hopes will earn him music industry recognition.
A graphic artist by day, Haines, of Winona Lake, has been writing songs – and performing music – for 38 years. Only recently has he further delved into his musical passion by entering his latest ballad in a national song-writing contest.
“The Worst Thing I’ll Ever Know” is currently in second place on the Texaco Country Showdown Song Writing Contest.
The Country Showdown has become one of the most reliable sources for rising country music stars in its rich 30-year history. Past participants have included country superstars like Garth Brooks, Sara Evans, Brad Paisley and Martina McBride. Douglas Haines hopes he could soon follow the same path to fame.
One winner each month will earn the privilege of having his or her song entered in the final competition, to be held in November. Those finalists will have their music judged by a professional panel of judges. The winner will not only earn the national title, he or she will win $100,000 and become a song-writer for the stars.
“Of course I’d like to perform my own music,” he tells, “but even to be able to write songs that people will hear would be a dream come true.”
Haines, who has written or co-written over 200 songs, began his musical quests in 1973. A former member of The Suite River Band (1973-1975), Whitefield (1975-1976) and The Haines Brothers Band (1976-1979), he is well skilled in performing and is even today a popular favorite on karaoke nights.
A devote Christian, Haines says he has penned some songs about praise and worship, but he prefers writing about life. “I feel God has richly blessed me with a talent that I’ve never really used for His glory. I write songs about life experiences. Some are sad, some are happy.”
While he doesn’t say specifically what inspired “The Worst Thing I’ll Ever Know,” he does say, “People have lives, and that’s what I write about. I’ve had a life with many mistakes and failures, as everyone has. I’ve also had successes and blessings, as everyone has.”
Songwriters in the Texaco Country Showdown Song Writing Contest are initially judged by online viewers. People can cast one vote per day through May 31.
Haines is currently in second place in the songwriting contest, but he’s hoping his home county will help boost him into the top spot.
To vote for Haines and his song (which is featured in the above video), voters will need to register for a free account, but they can then vote one time each day. To vote for Haines, CLICK HERE.