August 2

Don Williams’ “Good Ole Boys Like Me” Gives a Glimpse of Vintage Southern Life

A little over four decades ago, Don Williams’ “Good Ole Boys Like Me” was released as the second single off his album Portrait. The song became another country hit for The Gentle Giant, peaking at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

This song actually came with incredible lyrics filled with vivid imagery and references to people that most folks who were born during the 1940s through the 1960s would know. This ranges from Uncle Remus to Hank and Tennessee Williams as well as the Six O’clock News.

Story Behind The Song

“Good Ole Boys Like Me” was written by award-winning American songwriter Bob McDill, whose fishing buddy Tom Connelly, authored many books on the Civil War. This reignited McDill’s interests in Southern literature and eventually led him to the masterpieces of Robert Penn Warren.

Being a Pulitzer Prize Awardee – once for fiction, twice for poetry – Warren had a myriad of fascinating materials. But it was Warren’s final novel, “A Place To Come To,” that caught the songwriter’s attention the most and became the inspiration of one of Don Williams’ greatest hits McDill has ever written.

Even though McDill discerned that some of the song’s lines might not mean a thing to listeners who never stepped foot in the South nor ever listened to rhythm & blues music on the radio, it still turned out into a hit.

But did you know Don Williams originally pitched the song to Kenny Rogers? Williams thought it might be a greater hit with Rogers as he was holding a great deal of crossover hits at that time. However, Rogers turned down the song, saying, “It’s too literary, it’s too esoteric.”

So, Williams decided to cut the song, and the rest was history! You can listen to “Good Ole Boys Like Me” by Don Williams in the video below.


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