Don Williams was one of the most recognized and beloved music legends to ever hit the radio waves. His smooth baritone voice was among the defining sounds of country music throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Thanks to him, we get to enjoy some of the greatest hits the genre has ever seen, like “It Must Be Love,” which peaked No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles charts. “It must be love, it must be love. I fall like a sparrow and fly like a dove. You must be the dream I been dreaming of, Oh what a feeling, it must be love,” it sings.
“It Must Be Love” Marked One of the Rare Times in Country Music History
“It Must Be Love” was released in July 1979 as the third single from Don Williams’ album Expressions, which represented a major change in his career, as he added Garth Fundis as co-producer. Fundis had been there from the beginning, engineering Williams’ first two albums.
“It was pretty much just him and me in the studio,” Fundis noted. “He’d be out there singin’, and I’d be in the control room. I’ve got a musical background. I was a music education major in college. I studied voice, so I’d help him – ‘You’re a little flat here,’ or ‘a little sharp,’ just tryin’ to help – and so at one point, it became obvious that I was much more than just an engineer. So Don invited me to make this a co-production.”
From there, Fundis gained an enormous amount of respect in the Nashville Music Industry and went on to produce top-selling albums.
“It Must Be Love” was also written by Bob McDill, who Billboard magazine ranked as a second all-time most prolific songwriter in the history of country music with an incredible 152 of his songs appearing on Billboard’s country charts. In 1985, McDill was inducted into The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Twenty-one years later, Alan Jackson recorded and released the song as the third single from his album Under the Influence. Like Williams’ version before it, Jackson’s cover also reached No. 1 on the Billboard country charts, and it stayed there for the entire week, marking one of the rare times in country music history for a song to reach the top spot twice. It also managed to reach the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 37.
“It Must Be Love” absolutely made an impact in the music industry. After nearly five decades in the music business, Williams announced his retirement in 2016. Sadly, the country icon passed away a year later at the age of 78. His death was the result of a short illness. Still, nothing beats the sound of listening to the man country fans knew as “The Gentle Giant.”
Watch this performance of “It Must Be Love” from the music icon, Don Williams.