Perhaps, pure talent, distinct voice, and great music are the best words to describe Don Williams. His work of arts has affected the country music lovers as well as the country artists in so many ways. Some find his music as an inspiration but most of us look at it as an encouragement. Others see his music as a façade of the past. A simple way to reminisce and recollect the memories of yesterday. These are the things that represent the great temperament of the “Gentle Giant.” Indeed, he left us memoirs that undoubtedly marked our whole being.
Not only did his music left an impact but also his story and journey. His humble beginning has taught us to love and appreciate him more than ever. The struggles he’s been through made him stronger and he strove to be one of the world’s most magnificent. Don Williams didn’t pursue singing merely for a career but because of his love of music and passion. He committed his time and dedicated his soul to music specifically to country music. It is what his heart desired and where he truly belonged.
To give respect to the one and only Don Williams and “Gentle Giant” of Country Music, a little of your time is worthwhile. It’s time to reminisce his legacy by looking back to his wonder and lending an ear to his greatest hits.
All in all, Don Williams, has placed a total of seventeen No.1 singles on the country charts specifically the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Up to these days, those songs are still being played over radios and televisions. Some of the country artists of this generation has been re-recording and re-releasing those songs too.
Here is the complete list of Don Williams’ No.1 hits. It is listed according to years.
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.
You’re My Best Friend…
This song is probably one of the best single written for Don Williams. After its release, he became more popular in the country music industry. It is considered as Don Williams’ signature songs. Wayland Holyfield wrote the words and lyrics of “You’re My Best Friend.” It was recorded in 1974 and was released in April 1975. The song was part of Don Williams’ album of the same name. It placed number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in June 1975. Also, the song became Don Williams’ second number one single on the chart.
Turn Out the Light and Love Me Tonight…
The single became Don Williams’ third number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Bob McDill wrote the words and lyrics of “Turn Out The Light and Love Me Tonight.” It was released in August 1975 as part of the album “You’re My Best Friend.”
The song has a jivey tune yet heart-warming lyrics and a melody of truthful and romantic love.
‘Till the Rivers All Run Dry…
Don Williams, himself, along with Wayland Holyfield wrote the words and lyrics of “Till the Rivers All Run Dry.” As part of the album “Harmony,” the song was released in December 1975. It was the fourth number one single of Don Williams. It placed at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and stayed for a week at number one and a total of twelve weeks on the chart.
Say it Again…
The song was part of the same album “Harmony” which included the other number one hit “Till the Rivers All Run Dry.” On the other hand, Bob McDill wrote the words and lyrics of “Say it Again.” Don Williams released the single in April 1976. It became Don Williams’ fifth number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Some Broken Hearts Never Mend…
It became Don Williams’ sixth number one hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Don Williams released the song in January 1977. Also, the song was part of the album “Visions.” Wayland Holyfield wrote the words and lyrics of “Some Broken Hearts Never Mend.” Despite the upbeat tune, the message gives a single note of a broken heart.
I’m Just a Country Boy…
The song was one of Don Williams’ borrowed song. Harry Belafonte originally recorded the “I’m Just a Country Boy” and was released in 1954. Various artists re-recorded and re-released their covers. The utmost renditions of them all was from Don Williams. It was his that topped the country charts making it as his seventh number one hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Furthermore, Don Williams released his cover in July 1977. It was part of his album “Country Boy.”
The song has a different approach among Don Williams’ singles. It has a little rockin’ and groovin’ sound. Nevertheless, it still was appreciated by the country music fans. It even gave a different taste to the “Gentle Giant’s” temperament.
Additionally, Danny Flowers wrote the words and lyrics of “Tulsa Time.” Don Williams, on the other hand, released it in October 1978. It became his eighth number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Above all, “Tulsa Time” earned Don Williams’ his award “Single of the Year” at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
It Must Be Love…
Bob McDill wrote the words and lyrics of “It Must Be Love.” Don Williams released the song in July 1979 as part of his album “Expressions.” The song became his ninth number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The album also produced another top charting single called “Lay Down Beside Me.” The song placed number three on the Billboard chart.
Love Me over Again…
Undoubtedly, the song was one of the most played in 1979. Also, one of the best singles of the “Gentle Giant” as it gives listeners a song to ponder on. The song was released in December 1979 and was part of Don Williams’ album “Portrait.” It was Don Williams’ tenth number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It stayed at number one for a week and a total of twelve weeks on the chart. Don Williams himself wrote the words and lyrics of “Love Me Over Again.”
I Believe in You…
Indeed, “I Believe in You” was the most successful single of Don Williams. Once the title hits your eardrums, you will already remember the “Gentle Giant.” In 1981, the song was ranked at number thirty-one as the biggest hits. Additionally, the song received a massive response in other parts of the world such as Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and any more.
Moreover, “I Believe in You” became Don Williams’ eleventh number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It was part of his album of the same name and was released in August 1980. In the digital era, the song has sold more than 286,000 downloads in the United States alone. Above all, Roger Cook and Sam Hogan wrote the words and lyrics of “I Believe in You.”
Lord, I Hope this Day is Good…
This song has a touch of gospel sound as it deals with the Highest Almighty. The narrator is hoping for a good day as he talks to the Lord. Also, the song has a message of connecting with the Lord as the simplest way to deal with hardships in life.
Dave Hanner wrote the words and lyrics of “Lord, I hope this Day is Good.” Don Williams released his version in November 1981. It was part of his album “Especially for You.” It then became his twelfth number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Apart from that, it spent a week at number one and a total of twenty weeks on the chart.
Various artists covered the song including the writer himself, Dave Hanner. Also, Lee Ann Womack and Anne Murray recorded their renditions.
If Hollywood Don’t Need You…
The song interprets life in Hollywood. The lyrics deal with someone reaching his dreams while missing the one he loves.
Bob McDill wrote the words and lyrics of “If Hollywood Don’t Need You.” It was released in November 1982 as part of Don Williams’ album “Listen to the Radio.” It became the “Gentle Giant’s” thirteenth number one hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Love Is on a Roll…
The song depicts a prolonged spell of romance. Indeed, the song defines a situation wherein if it strikes you, you can’t do anything but to go with it. The more you fight, the more it lingers. Furthermore, it also means that no matter how good or bad your eminence in love is, there will always be the persistence of enthusiasm, realization, and triumph.
Moreover, the song was Don Williams’ fourteenth number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It was released in March 1983 under the album “Yellow Moon.” Roger Cook and John Prine pooled resources for the words and lyrics of “Love is on a Roll.”
Feel a good sense of his temperament in the depiction of “Stay Young.” It describes a feeling of youngness despite getting old. This is one of the best songs to rely on to if you’re feeling down and feeling old.
It’s from “Yellow Moon,” the same album that catered Don Williams’ his fourteenth number one song. Also, it is where his fifteenth number one single was listed. “Stay Young” reached number one spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It was released in November 1983. Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle wrote the words and lyrics of the above mentioned single.
That’s the Thing about Love…
There is no exact word to describe love. That merely depends on the person feeling it but the words and lyrics of “That’s the Thing about Love” say it all.
The song was Don Williams’ sixteenth number one hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It was released in March 1984. Also, the song was part of the album “Café Carolina.” The said album also produced some of Don Williams’ fine singles such as “Maggie’s Dream,” “It’s Time for Love,” and “Walkin’ a Broken Heart.”
Heartbeat in the Darkness…
In 1985, Don Williams, unfortunately, didn’t place the single at number one. Nevertheless, he came back in 1986 with a bang. He released his final and seventeenth 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.”
Don Williams the “Gentle Giant” of Country Music has placed a total number of fifty-six that penetrated the Billboard Top 100 Hot Country Songs. As tackled above, seventeen of those have reached number one. Also, five have reached at number two; seven have entered at number three, another seven have reached number four, three reached number five, one single at number six, three at number seven, two at number nine, and the rest were from number eleven going to ninety-seven.
A Bit about Don Williams…
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 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 all 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, he 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.
First No.1 Song…
However, other artists were reluctant to record some of 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, Williams 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 very first number one hit.
In 1978, 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. Williams has been nominated three times at Grammys. Most of the nominations were at Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association.
Don Williams was known as the “Gentle Giant” of Country Music. Yes, it’s because of his height and warm, smooth bass-baritone voice, and soft tones. Throughout his career, every song he has released hit the country charts.
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