August 3

Don Williams’ “Tulsa Time” Is Actually His Most Versatile Song Ever Recorded

Did you know that Don Williams’ “Tulsa Time” has been the one song the Gentle Giant has long been waiting for?

Williams started playing the guitar when he was only a child, listening to the sounds of hard-core, honky tonk country, which by the middle of the 1950s swiftly progressed into rockabilly, folk, and then rock & roll. Williams has no choice but to ride with this shift. In fact, some of Don Williams’ greatest hits were of these new rhythm patterns, arrangement, and chord sequences.

But “Tulsa Time” gave Williams the chance to try out some of these things on record. Unlike most of his earlier hits, the song was driven by a gritty, funky rock & roll beat pushing Williams’ baritone to a much higher register. You might even think the song was out of Waylon Jennings‘ playbook than of Williams.

Written by Williams’ guitarist Danny Flowers, “Tulsa Time” tells the tale of a man who left his home in Oklahoma for Hollywood’s bright lights. However, he realized that he is much happier back home that he decided to set his watch to Tulsa time and live with it.

The song became Williams’ eighth No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, holding the top spot for a single week but remaining on the chart for a total of eleven weeks. 

It also took home awards for Don Williams in 1978. “Tulsa Time” was actually hailed as the Academy of Country Music’s Single of the Year, while Williams won the Country Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year. But the most notable one was when the mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, presented Williams with the key to the city while February 4, 1979, was declared as Tulsa’s “Don Williams Day.”

Anyway, check out the video below and let “Tulsa Time” by Don Williams surprise you. 


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