When someone like Don Williams released a new song and video, you’ll always want to pay attention. A duet with Keith Urban on “Imagine That” in 2012 shows just what an influence Williams is on the Aussie country star; and if you listen carefully to the ballads, you can also hear where Garth Brooks picked up a good helping of style.
The song is about a guy who wishes he could still be with the one he loves. In that regard, the song is kind of sad, but it doesn’t take on that tone when you listen and watch. The melody is a bit more cheery than that and it really works well.
The sound is classic Don Williams. His voice really sounds good and I like the way the sound was a bit modernized. It sounds like something that could play really well today with the modern country fans. I think that was the point. I’m sure the plan was to introduce Don back to the country audience today while staying true to his roots.
It’s also pretty cool to have Keith Urban in the video. He’s playing during the song and he’s off in the background. It’s a nice little cameo from one of today’s biggest stars collaborating with a legend in the business.
William’s influence to Urban
Williams was a big influence on Urban, who grew up listening to the country star because Urban’s father was a Williams’ fan.
One of Urban’s biggest hits, “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” was strongly influenced by Williams. Urban called the style of the song as stark and minimalistic, like the records Williams and Garth Fundis produced. Urban also said that he listens to their albums often.
Wish he’s still here
Known as “The Gentle Giant,” Williams was a chart-topping country artist, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s, when each Williams’ single would top the Billboard Country charts, according to the Don Williams website. His hits during the 1970s included “Tulsa Time,” “It Must Be Love,” and “She Never Knew Me.” In 1981 Williams had a big crossover hit with “I Believe in You.” His other hits from the 1980s include “One Good Well,” “If Hollywood Don’t Need You,” and “Stay Young.” His final top ten hit, in 1991, was “Lord Have Mercy On A Country Boy.”
Williams picked songs with which he found personal resonance, rather than those he believed would be a hit, and his trust in Nashville’s writers was rewarded. The songs don’t leap from the record with clever titles, intricate lyrics or operatic climaxes, but each provides an opportunity to spend a few moments with Don Williams as he optimistically considers truth and spirituality, internal strength and rekindled emotions.
Here’s the official music video for “Imagine” that will help revitalize your day. Enjoy watching.
don williams, Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams, Imagine, Keith Urban