Earning a total of seventeen No. 1 country hits and selling millions of albums throughout the decades, Don Williams was a true master of his craft. He quickly made his name in the industry and turned out to be a staple of any true country music collection. He was later called one of the most influential legends ever to hit the charts.
The country music legend was best known for his hits throughout the 70s and 80s like “Tulsa Time,” “It Must Be Love,” “Some Broken Hearts Never Mend,” “If Hollywood Don’t Need You (Honey I Still Do,” “Good Ole Boys Like Me and many more.
To honor the legendary man that brought so much to the world of music and the incredible legacy he built, let’s take a look back at Williams’ colorful career.
Don Williams’ Successful Career That Spanned Across Six Decades
Born on May 27, 1939, in Floydada, Texas, Don Williams started playing guitar when he was just a child, learning the instrument from his mother. He played in a variety of folk, rockabilly, country, and rock & roll bands as a teenager.
After finishing high school in 1964, he formed his first band with his two friends called the Pozo-Seco Singers, a folk-pop group. The band signed a contract with Columbia Records and had a pop hit with “Time,” which climbed into the Top 50. They had a series of minor hits for the next two years and stayed until 1971.
After the Pozo-Seco Singers disbanded, Williams decided to pursue a career as a songwriter in Nashville, thinking that he was not suited for a solo career. But things took a great turn in 1972 when Williams inked a contract with JMI Records as a solo country artist. His 1974 song, “We Should Be Together,” reached No. 5. At the height of the country and western boom in the UK in 1976, Williams had top 40 pop chart hits with “You’re My Best Friend” and “I Recall a Gypsy Woman.”
After some time, Williams signed with ABC/Dot Records and had his first No. 1 hit with “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me.” It was the first of a string of top ten hits he had between 1974 and 1991.
Over the years, Williams earned the nickname as the “Gentle Giant” of country music with his laidback, straightforward vocal style and large, imposing build. His music gained popularity internationally and had a massive following in Europe, especially in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Ireland, Ukraine, India, South Africa, Sierra Leone, etc. America’s superstars and various recording artists of different genres had a strong influence on William’s music. His hits have been covered by artists such as Eric Clapton, Alan Jackson, Johnny Cash, and Lefty Frizzell.
Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and was a Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Awards winner.
Following a successful career spanning across six decades, country music legend Don Williams had officially announced his retirement in 2016. Williams, who was 76 then, broke the news in a press release saying he wants to take the time to focus on his family.
“It’s time to hang my hat up and enjoy some quiet time at home,” Williams said. “I’m so thankful for my fans, my friends, and my family for their everlasting love and support.”
The World of Country Music Lost a Legend
News of Don Williams’ death has indeed rocked the country music world in 2017. He died after battling a short illness at the age of 78.
While the “Gentle Giant” may no longer be here with us, his seemingly-endless discography and wildly popular hit songs will live on forever – remaining as timeless and treasured as it always has been.