January 23

Remembering “The Gentle Giant” Of Country Music: Don Williams


I bet you remember “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me”, “You’re My Best Friend”, and “I Believe in You”. Those are some of the greatest hits of Don Williams. William’s imposing height and warm, smooth bass-baritone voice, soft tones bestowed him the nickname “Gentle Giant”.

Early Life

Don Ray Williams was born on May 27, 1939, in Floydada, Texas. Williams 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. Prior to 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, Williams went back to Texas to sell furniture at his father’s store.

Remembering “The Gentle Giant” Of Country Music: Don Williams 1


Back in 1971, 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 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 No.1 hit.

In the course of his career, he had a total of 17 hits that became number 1. Only 4 of his songs didn’t make it to top 10.


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 died at the age of 78 due to emphysema.

Here are some of Don Williams’ songs:

You’re My Best Friend

Tulsa Time

Some Broken Hearts Never Mend

I Believe in You

Good Ole Boys Like Me

Lord I Hope This Day Is Good

Till The Rivers All Run Dry

It Must Be Love

Love Me Tonight

I Recall A Gypsy Woman


don williams, gentle giant, Some Broken Hearts Never Mend, You're my best friend

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