The Whiskey Man
As the song “The Night Jack Daniels Met John 3:16” was climbing the charts people began to refer to James Payne as the whiskey man. They arrived at this name because of the last two lines of the chorus in the song “I traded Tennessee whiskey for Calvary’s
Tree, that night old Jack Daniels met John 3:16. As the video began to play on TBN and other television network, James said people would see him in airports, restaurants, on the street and at church, and they would point and say, there goes that whiskey man.
This song struck a note in the hearts of the American family. James began to discover that thousands of people had family members who were addicted to alcohol. He said over 100 letters a day started pouring into his office from people who were touched by the song. Several came from truck drivers who were saved after hearing the song on country radio. One man in Kansas City said he was sitting on the couch with a 45 caliber pistol in his mouth, ready to commit suicide. After hearing the song he knelt beside the couch and gave his heart to Jesus Christ and was instantly delivered from alcohol addiction.
James does not write songs about what he has read about, but he writes about what he has lived. He took his first drink of whiskey when he was 11 years of age. He was drinking at least a fifth of Jack Daniels whiskey a day by the time he was 17 yrs old. He was also shooting heroin in his veins. Since James was not raised in a home where there were bibles and believers he continued in sin until it landed him in a hospital room where doctors gave him only hours to live.
Few people get the chance to die twice but James Payne will! Because after major surgery his spirit left his body and hovered over his bed in his hospital room. He was pronounced dead, covered up by a sheet and left for the undertaker. As everyone left the room and turned out the lights, James says a demon came out of a long dark tunnel filled with fire and shouted “we’ve got you now”. Then Jesus appeared and spoke to the demon and he ran back into the flames. James says at this time he floated like a feather back down into his body. When he opened his eyes Jesus was standing at the foot of the bed. James says that Jesus touched him on his right foot and said “I’m going to raise you up and you are going to carry the gospel around the world”. The next morning James prayed, “Jesus I don’t have anything to offer you. I’m a drunk and a drug addict that has never done one good thing in his life. But Jesus if you want me I’m YOURS”. Jesus took him and has used him in a remarkable way.
James Payne has had songs he’s written recorded by a who’s who of main stream recording artists. White River, Mike Purkey, Vern Jackson, Betty Jean Robinson, The Happy Goodman Family, Rusty Goodman, Kenny Hinson, The Florida Boys, Jimmy Swaggart, Lee Greenwood, Ricky Van Shelton, Wendy Bagwell, Dixie Echoes, Terri Gibbs, The Stamps, The Sound, and Tanya Goodman, just to name a few.
James just released a brand new music project entitled “HONKY TONK SALVATION”. It contains 13 original songs. Each song delivers a message backed up by the finest musicians Nashville Tennessee has to offer. James has always remained true to his country roots. He says the greatest compliment he has ever received was when a good ole boy told him, “my wife bought your cd and put it in my truck and I listened to you a week before I knew you sang gospel music”.
Paul and Jan Crouch both stated that James Payne’s music touched an audience that TBN had never been able to touch. Both Paul and Jan went to great extremes to insure that the world heard the music of James Payne. They produced several amazing videos that brought the story of each song to life. James is quick to express his thanks and gratitude to Paul and Jan Crouch and the TBN family for helping his to expose the masses to his music.
If you want to know why James Payne writes, records, travels, and continues to tell the story about Jesus. He will tell you, it’s not about hit songs, awards, CD sales, or celebrity, IT’S ALL ABOUT SOULS! “ I want to be a roadblock to sinners on the road to hell” says Payne. Jesus is the only thing worth giving your life for. Whatever your problem. JESUS IS THE ANSWER. You never know what God will do when you make a 100% commitment to him. James says, I don’t want to leave this life with one more song or sermon left in me. I want to be empty. And as long as there is a lost soul I will continue to pack my suitcase and tell them Jesus loves them just like they are, but He loves them too much to leave them like they are.
- Publicist Diamond Dawson