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September 7

The Story of “It Must Be Love” by Don Williams and Alan Jackson

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Photo of Don Williams singing "It Must be Love"
Photo of Don Williams from YouTube via Screengrab

The Brilliant Engineer Behind the Song

The album of Don Williams “Expressions” represented a major change in his, career. It happened when he added Garth Fundis as a co-producer. Garth had been since the beginning of Williams’ career, engineering his first two albums. During that time, Fundis was a staff for Jack Clement Studios. However, he went independent and engineered Crystal Gayle’s “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” After going independent, he missed the chance to be a part of Don Williams’ third album. However, Fundis was hired by Williams to engineer every subsequent album after.

“It was pretty much just him and me in the studio,” said Garth. “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.”

The Third Single of the Album

As a co-producer, the “Expressions” album gave Garth Fundis an excellent outing. “It Must Be Love,” the third single of the album, became a No. 1 Hit on September 29, 1979. Also, the song became 9th of 17 chart-toppers of Don Williams.

All the harmony vocals on “It Must Be Love” was overdubbed by Don Williams and Garth Fundis. It was the 7th hit of  Williams’ that was written by Bob McDill. From the start of Don Williams’ career, whenever he scheduled a recording session, Bob was there. Otherwise, if Don wasn’t recording, Bob would write some new songs. Then, he would automatically send it to Don if he was interested in playing the new stuff he created.

On the other hand, as a producer, Garth Fundis gained a great amount of respect in the Nashville Music Industry. From there, he went on producing Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes” in 1988. Then in the ’90, he introduced many of Garth Brooks’ top-selling albums.

The Straight Talkin’ Artist’s Cover

Young Alan Jackson
A handsome photo of Alan Jackson. Image from YouTube via Screengrab

After twenty-one years, “It Must Be Love” again became a No. 1 hit. For the “Under The Influence” project, Alan Jackson recorded the song in 2000. Six singles were in the album but only 2 made it to the top ten. One of those was “It Must Be Love” which became a No. 1 hit marking one of the rare times in country music that a song has reached the top spot twice.

Twenty-one years after Williams’ cut of “It Must Be Love” reached #1, Alan

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Tags

Alan Jackson, Bob McDill, don williams


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