It has been just a year since “The Gentle Giant” of Country music has passed. Nevertheless, his memories will continuously live within us especially his fans and supporters. With this, let’s all give respect and salute as we commemorate the first death anniversary, great music, and work of arts of Don Williams.
A year ago, precisely on September 8, 2017, people especially the country music world, was shocked by the news of Don Williams demise. All mourned his loss. However, he left us so many memories, his journey, and great music.
A Bit about “The Gentle Giant”…
Don Ray Williams was born on May 27, 1939, in Floydada, Texas. He grew up in Portland, Texas and graduated from Gregory-Portland High School in 1958.
His mother taught him how to play the guitar at the age of twelve. He performed and played in a variety of country, rockabilly, folk, and rock & roll bands as a teenager. Before joining “The Pozo Seco Singers” which had six pop chart hits in 1966 to 1967. He was first a member of the “Strangers Two” with Lofton Kline. All the groups he joined had successful hits. After the group disbanded, Don Williams went back to Texas to sell furniture at his father’s store.
Don Williams has a struck of change. He felt that music was his passion and what he truly desires. With this, in 1971, Don Williams went back to music and signed a contract as a songwriter for Jack Clement to Jack Music Publishing Company. He recorded demos for songwriter-producer Allen Reynolds, who later went to help projects for Crystal Gayle, Garth Brooks, and many more. However, other artists were reluctant to record some of Don Williams’ song. With this, Jack Clement decided to sign him up as an artist to his JMI Records. He then recorded his very first track “Don’t You Believe.” In 1974, he released his song “We Should Be Together” which peaked No.5. Later that year, his song “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me” became his No.1 hit.
In the course of his career, he had a total of 17 hits that became No.1. With this, let’s all reminisce Don Williams’ through his very first and last number one singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
I Wouldn’t Want to Live if You Didn’t Love Me…
Al Turney wrote the words and lyrics of “I Wouldn’t Want to Live if You Didn’t Love Me.” Don Williams recorded the song in April 1974 and released it in June 1974. The song was part of his album “Volume III.” After long years of recording, Don Williams placed the song at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It then became his very first number one single on the country charts. Moreover, the song reached number one for a week and a total of twelve weeks on the chart.
Heartbeat in the Darkness…
In 1985, Don Williams, unfortunately, didn’t place any single at number one. Nevertheless, he came back in 1986 with a bang. He released his final and 17th number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The song is called “Heartbeat in the Darkness.” It was released in May 1986 as part of his album “New Moves.”
In 1978, Don Williams won “Single Record of the Year” for the song “Tulsa Time” at the Academy of Country Music. On the other hand, he also won “Male Vocalist of the Year” at Country Music Association in the same year. In 2010, he received the highest honor which is to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Don Williams has been nominated three times at Grammys. Most of the nominations were at Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association.
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