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Don Williams

With his laid-back, straightforward vocals and large, imposing build, Don Williams came to be known as "the Gentle Giant." That nickname was bestowed on him in the early '70s, when he began a string of countrypolitan hits that ran into the early '90s. Williams was never known as an innovator, but his ballads were immensely popular; in the course of his career, he had a total of 17 number one hits.

Williams began playing guitar when he was child, learning the instrument from his mother. As a teenager, he played in a variety of country, rockabilly, folk, and rock & roll bands. After completing high school, he formed his first band with a friend named Lofton Kline. Williams and Kline recruited another singer, Susan Taylor, and formed the Pozo-Seco Singers, a folk-pop group, in 1964. The following year, the band signed a contract with Columbia Records. In 1966, the Pozo-Seco Singers had a pop hit with "Time," which climbed into the Top 50. For the next two years, they had a series of minor hits, highlighted by two Top 40 hits in late 1966, "I Can Make It with You" and "Look What You've Done." The group stayed until 1971.

After the Pozo-Seco Singers disbanded, Williams decided to pursue a career as a songwriter in Nashville, since he wasn't convinced that he was suited for a solo career. He signed with Jack Clement's Jack Music, Inc., initially just as a songwriter. By the end of 1972, he had signed with JMI as a solo artist, releasing "Don't You Believe" as his debut. The song went nowhere, but "The Shelter of Your Eyes" climbed to number 14 at the beginning of 1973. For the next year, Williams scored a string of minor hits before he had his 1974 breakthrough, "We Should Be Together," which reached number five. The single led to a contract with ABC/Dot. "I Wouldn't Want to Live If You Didn't Love Me," his first single for ABC/Dot, reached number one in the summer 1974. The single launched a string of Top Ten hits that ran more or less uninterrupted until 1991; between 1974 and 1991, only four of his 46 charting singles didn't make the Top Ten. Instead of reaching the top of the charts with his original material, most of his big hits were covers of other songwriters, including John Prine, Bob McDill, Dave Loggins, and Wayland Holyfield.

During the '70s, Don Williams became the most successful country artist in the world. His country-pop not only crossed over into the American pop mainstream, it also gained him a large following in England and Europe. In addition to his Top Ten hits, Williams won several country music awards, highlighted by the Country Music Association naming him Male Vocalist of the Year in 1978, the same year his number-one single, "Tulsa Time," was named Single of the Year. In the late '70s, he began acting, appearing primarily in the films of his friend Burt Reynolds, including W.W. & the Dixie Dancekings and Smokey & the Bandit II.

In the early '80s, Williams slowed down the pace of his career slightly, as he was suffering from back problems. Nevertheless, the hits continued to come and many of his singles reached number one. In 1986, he left MCA Records -- which had acquired the ABC label while he was recording for it -- and signed with Capitol. The change in labels didn't affect his career at all, as he continued to hit the Top Ten with regularity. In 1987, he underwent back surgery, which cured his problems. Williams signed with RCA Records in 1989. Initially, he continued to have hits, but his streak came to an end in early 1992, following his last Top Ten single, "Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy." Although he continued to perform in the mid-'90s, he had effectively retired to his Nashville farm, returning to recording in 1998 with I Turn the Page.

After some limited touring, Williams resumed his recording career with My Heart to You on Sugar Hill/Compendium in 2004, followed in 2006 by his "Farewell Tour of the World," playing throughout the United States and Europe, and another retirement. This one lasted until 2012,when he re-emerged with the acclaimed And So It Goes on Sugar Hill. Williams continued recording and performing; he released Reflections in March of 2014. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Reflections

1. I'll Be Here In The Morning

2. Talk Is Cheap

3. I Won't Give Up On You

4. Sing Me Back Home

5. Working Man's Son

6. Healing Hands

7. If I Were Free

8. Stronger Back

9. Back To The Simple Things

10. The Answer

x

Track List: And So It Goes

1. Better Than Today

2. Heart Of Hearts

3. She's With Me

4. I Just Come Here For The Music

5. Infinity

6. What If It Worked Like That

7. She's A Natural

8. Imagine That

9. First Fool In Line

10. And So It Goes

x

Track List: The Best Of Don Williams

1. Lord Have Mercy On A Country Boy

2. I've Been Loved By The Best

3. Just As Long As I Have You

4. In The Family

5. Standing Knee Deep In A River (Dying Of Thirst)

6. True Love

7. It's Who You Love

8. One Good Well

9. Maybe That's All It Takes

10. Back In My Younger Days

x

Track List: The Definitive Collection

1. Come Early Morning

2. Amanda

3. I Wouldn't Want To Live If You Didn't Want Me

4. The Ties That Bind

5. You're My Best Friend

6. (Turn Out The Lights And) Love Me Tonight

7. Till The Rivers All Run Dry

8. Say It Again

9. She Never Knew Me

10. Some Broken Hearts Will Never Mend

11. I'm Just A Country Boy

12. I've Got A Winner In You

13. Rake And Ramblin' Man

14. Tulsa Time

15. It Must Be Love

16. Love Me Over Again

17. Good Ole Boys Like Me

18. I Believe In You

19. Lord I Hope This Day Is Good

20. Listen To The Radio

21. If Hollywood Don't Need You (Honey, I Still Do)

22. Love Is On A Roll

23. Nobody But You

24. That's The Thing About Love

25. Heartbeat In The Darkness

x

Track List: The Best Of Don Williams, Vol. 2 - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection

x

Track List: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Don Williams

1. I Believe In You

2. Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good

3. You're My Best Friend

4. Say It Again

5. Tulsa Time

6. I'm Just A Country Boy

7. Good Ole Boys Like Me

8. (Turn Out The Lights And) Leave Me Tonight

9. Till The Rivers All Run Dry

10. She Never Knew Me

11. If Hollywood Don't Need You (Honey, I Still Do)

12. Some Broken Hearts Never Mend

x

Track List: The Best Of

3. Rake And Ramblin' Man

4. I'm Just A Country Boy

5. Some Broken Hearts Never Mend

6. Tulsa Time

7. She Never Knew Me

9. I've Got A Winner In You

10. You're My Best Friend

11. Say It Again

x

Track List: Greatest Hits

1. Love Is On A Roll

2. That's The Thing About Love

3. Maggie's Dream

4. Louisiana Saturday Night

5. Falling Again

6. Stay Young

7. Nobody But You

8. Walkin' A Broken Heart

9. It's Time For Love

10. Cup O'Tea

Comments

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Lord I hope this day is good.
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Till the rivers all run dry
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Great song good singer
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cheyennesalo o n 3
Lol
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dmgsmiller4
Listening to DW in my dads camper shell on a cassette recorder waiting to go hunting Sweet memories Saw him recently in Modesto gr8 show
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My Best Friend is played nightly in memory of my late wife of 60 years who just loved your easy voice. Tku Don...
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Don Williams you a inspiration in my life love all your songs
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Most of these artists are gone it makes me fill beter when i listen to this music
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No rap there just gd music
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Memories o yes, no cable, no mtv .. Jus plain old great country music! Words to live by,, thank u to al the greatest who ever sang..
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Manna...the end to the beginning
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lonelywolf22 2 t 1
he is a great singer
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I love all his songs.
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summitstreet
Great story Tasha... I just noticed what nice, easy flowing sound Don has... I can see how a Dad would sing along.. ha ha ha
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My Daddy sang so smooth and went note to note with Don Williams.. All my childhood memories are filled with hearing both my Daddy and Don sing away.. Best memories for sure.. Love Mr. Don Williams..
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troopers_nig h t m a r e
My all time favorite artist. Such a smooth velvet voice
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great country singer
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I love this song. Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good.
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leroy696
do I look like a daddy to you helped me start a new life 37 years a go.
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Give ear earth so heaven can. hear
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Kick off your shoes, turn out the light and love me tonight...
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Love this Man. Brings me back to the riding the schoo bus in lower elementry. My bus driver play'd alot of Don Williams
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Loving it
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He does have a professional nerve shown in Deadwood a few years ago, ..really like the guy and his music...the best.
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This is one artist I'd just love to have a chat with over a summer iced tea
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The gentile gentle image of the face of the deep...home
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Down in Texas Don Williams is still king
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Nothing better than this singing rancher
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Spme great music love it
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Kick off your shoes pull down the shades and love me tonight...
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I love e this singer.
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Great songs .thank you.
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charlie Pride
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I'm 25 from 100 and just love his voice and the way present his songs from Waymen Dekens
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I had the opportunity to see him in concert last week. I cannot count the emotions that it evoked. I was happy, melancholy, ready to dance one song and literally in tears the next song. All I can say is WOW!!! He is truly a legend and I am so happy I was able to see him. If you have the chance, do not even consider any other options...ju s t go!
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sam10252
Like him and Emmylou Harris is his counter among the female artist.
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sam10252
Don Williams is the very best male country music has ever had. There is no other artist
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He is still out there singing Amyshelton.
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I love to hear Don Williams sing he was a great singer ❤️Amy from Mississippi ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
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Don Williams sings a very comforting style. One could listen to his songs...like forever.
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jennifer.rog e r s 0 3
This is a kick in station so peaceful . I miss lessening to this music
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Don Williams what a smooth voice. some Hearts Will never mend. Love it.
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One of the best. Herein Memphis we still love and play his music a lot!!!!
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Livin' on Tulsa time!!!!
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There are singers and there are artist. Put them together and it spells Don. I know he old as hell now but his words will live forever. To walk a week in his shoes would be a blast. You know his songs well up all kinds of emotions in folks. A ture blue bad a**... peace
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i remember sitting on the bench in Oak Cliff at Kiest park listening to i believe in love
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Good ole boys like me. Yeap, just like me!!!!!
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So good and he sounds peaceful and calming I love him
Thanks mister for your music and sound
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