Donald Ray Williams is dead!
KiNG JAMES YiYE pays tribute to the American Country Legend.
Don Williams is no doubt the first country musician I got familiar with as a child. My father had almost all his albums on turntable and cassettes. And during my teenage days, I got some books with his lyrics, singing along all my favourite Don William songs like Lord I Hope This Day Is Good, It Must Be Love, Amanda, Tulsa Time, Country Boy, Yellow Moon etc.
Born on May 27, 1939. Don Williams was an American country singer, songwriter, and 2010 inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He began his solo career in 1971, singing popular ballads and amassing 17 number one country hits.
His straightforward yet smooth bass-baritone voice, soft tones, and imposing build earned him the nickname: “Gentle Giant” of country music.
Williams has had a strong influence over a variety of recording artists of different genres. His hits have been covered by artists such as Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Claude Russell Bridges, Lefty Frizzell, Josh Turner, Sonny James, Alison Krauss, Billy Dean, Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Lambchop, Alan Jackson, Tomeu Penya, Waylon Jennings, Pete Townshend and Tortoise (band) with Bonnie “Prince” Billy. His music is also popular internationally, including the UK, Australia, Ukraine, India, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. In 2010, the Country Music Association inducted Don Williams into the Country Music Hall of Fame. This is considered be the Country music industry’s highest honor to bestow upon an artist.
Don Williams was raised in Portland, Texas, where he learned guitar from his mother. Initially performing in Corpus Christi in a duo called Strangers Two with singer Lofton Kline, Williams and his partner met singer Susan Taylor and formed the folk-pop trio that would be called the Pozo-Seco Singers. Based in Nashville, the trio earned two Top 40 tunes, “I Can Make It With You” and “Look What You’ve Done,” in late 1966.
After the group disbanded, Williams landed back in Texas to sell furniture in his father’s store before returning to Music City to embark on a solo career. “Cowboy” Jack Clement signed Williams as a songwriter to his Jack Music publishing company, where he recorded demos for songwriter-producer Allen Reynolds, who later went on to helm projects for Crystal Gayle and Garth Brooks, among many others.
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