Last Sept. 8 in Cincinnati, Ohio Chris Stapleton paused in his to say a few words about Don Williams, the country legend who died earlier that same day. Stapleton referred to Williams as his “hero,” and he and wife Morgane then treated the crowd with a powerful cover of Williams’ song, “Amanda.” Press play now to watch and listen to the performance.
We are all aware of the common fact that artists pay tribute to anyone who is considered to be a big contributor in any given field. It is just right to pay tribute to Williams because he has done so much. Since the news of his death, country music artists have given honor to him. The Brothers Osborne and Old Dominion both performed “Tulsa Time” during their respective Friday night shows, while Keith Urban took to social media to share his grief.
“I cannot put into words the depth of sadness I feel right now hearing of Don’s passing,” Urban wrote along with a short video, a clip from the pair’s “Imagine That” music video.
Looking back, Williams debuted on the country charts in 197 with “The Shelter of Your Eyes,” and on top is where he stayed. From 1974 through 1991, all of Williams’ singles landed in the Top 40. He won numerous accolades, including being named Male Vocalist of the Year at the CMA Awards in 1978, and in 2010, being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Less than a year after Don Williams announced his retirement, there were already talks on a tribute album featuring John Prine, Jason Isbell, and Garth Brooks.
Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams will be released May 26th, one day before Williams’ 78th birthday. The album is produced by Garth Fundis, who began working with Williams during the 1970s, the 11-track album rounds up country-pop chart climbers. The album’s song features Pistol Annies, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, Lady Antebellum and Alison Krauss – all putting an updated spin on Williams’ country classics. Most of the album’s proceeds will be donated to MusiCares.
Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams track listing:
1. Tulsa Time – Pistol Annies
2. I Believe in You – Brandy Clark
3. We’ve Got a Good Fire Goin’ – Lady Antebellum
4. Some Broken Hearts Never Mend – Dierks Bentley
5. Amanda – Chris Stapleton feat. Morgane Stapleton
6. Till The Rivers All Run Dry – Alison Krauss
7. Love Is On A Roll – John Prine feat. Roger Cook
8. If I Needed You – Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires
9. Maggie’s Dream – Trisha Yearwood
10. Lord I Hope This Day is Good – Keb’ Mo’
11. Good Ole Boys Like Me – Garth Brooks
Don Williams won’t truly be forgotten. Thanks to your music, talent, and passion, your memories will live on in our hearts.
amanda, chris stapleton, don williams, tribute
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