Don Williams was known for his title “Gentle Giant,” because of his imposing height and warm, smooth bass-baritone voice, soft tones. But all throughout his career, he has established two more things, consistency, and great songs.
From 1973-1991, Williams hit the Top 20 on the Billboard Country charts with every release. At the same time, his catalog includes lyrics that country fans could identify with strongly. All done in an easy-going style that made him a favorite of music fans here and abroad. Also, he also influenced country artists such as Joe Nichols and Keith Urban.
And for the avid supporters of Williams, a tribute record, “Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams,” that includes contributions from artists such as Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Brandy Clark has been produced.
“I Recall a Gypsy Woman” is a song written by Bob McDill and Allen Reynolds. Don Williams recorded the song in 1973. Back in 1976, at the height of the country and western in Britain, his version plotted at No.13 on the UK Singles Chart. At that time, it was the highest and the best position for Williams on the said chart.
Furthermore, the song was previously the B-side of Williams’ 1973 single “Atta Way to Go,” which peaked at No.13 on the Hot Country Songs charts in 1973.
Silver coins that jingle jangle
Fancy shoes that dance in time
Oh the secrets of her dark eyes,
They did sing a gypsy rhyme
Yellow clover in tangled blossoms
In a meadow silky green
Where she held me to her bosom,
Just a boy of seventeen
I recall a gypsy woman
Silver spangles in her eyes
Ivory skin against the moonlight
And the taste of life’s sweet wine
Soft breezes blow from fragrant meadows
And stir the darkness in my mind
Oh gentle woman you sleep beside me
Little know who haunts my mind
Gypsy lady I hear your laughter
And it dances in my head
While my tender wife and babies
Slumber softly in their beds
In 1973, country singer Tommy Cash, the younger brother of Johnny Cash recorded his cover version of the song as a non-album release. It reached No.16 on the US Billboard Country Charts.
On the other hand, Waylon Jennings covered it in his album “Dreaming My Dreams” in 1975.
In 1977, Doc Watson recorded his version the song as the opening track of the album “Lonesome Road.” It was both released by Doc Watson and guitarist Merle Watson.
Also, In 1981, B.J. Thomas covered it in his covers album “Some Love Songs Never Die.” Larry Butler produced the album.
Recently, it has been covered by South African singer Ricus Nel accompanied by a music video directed by Christian Wolf. The song is the opening track of Nel’s 2014 cover album “Ricus Nel Sing Don Williams & Ander Country Legends.”
Don Williams died at the age of 78 due to emphysema.
Wherever Don Williams right now, his legacy and work of arts will continue to flourish. It will influence more people inside and outside of the country music industry.
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