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Don Williams

With his laid-back, straightforward vocals and large, imposing build, Don Williams came to be known as "the Gentle Giant." That nickname was bestowed on him in the early '70s, when he began a string of countrypolitan hits that ran into the early '90s. Williams was never known as an innovator, but his ballads were immensely popular; in the course of his career, he had a total of 17 number one hits.

Williams began playing guitar when he was child, learning the instrument from his mother. As a teenager, he played in a variety of country, rockabilly, folk, and rock & roll bands. After completing high school, he formed his first band with a friend named Lofton Kline. Williams and Kline recruited another singer, Susan Taylor, and formed the Pozo-Seco Singers, a folk-pop group, in 1964. The following year, the band signed a contract with Columbia Records. In 1966, the Pozo-Seco Singers had a pop hit with "Time," which climbed into the Top 50. For the next two years, they had a series of minor hits, highlighted by two Top 40 hits in late 1966, "I Can Make It with You" and "Look What You've Done." The group stayed until 1971.

After the Pozo-Seco Singers disbanded, Williams decided to pursue a career as a songwriter in Nashville, since he wasn't convinced that he was suited for a solo career. He signed with Jack Clement's Jack Music, Inc., initially just as a songwriter. By the end of 1972, he had signed with JMI as a solo artist, releasing "Don't You Believe" as his debut. The song went nowhere, but "The Shelter of Your Eyes" climbed to number 14 at the beginning of 1973. For the next year, Williams scored a string of minor hits before he had his 1974 breakthrough, "We Should Be Together," which reached number five. The single led to a contract with ABC/Dot. "I Wouldn't Want to Live If You Didn't Love Me," his first single for ABC/Dot, reached number one in the summer 1974. The single launched a string of Top Ten hits that ran more or less uninterrupted until 1991; between 1974 and 1991, only four of his 46 charting singles didn't make the Top Ten. Instead of reaching the top of the charts with his original material, most of his big hits were covers of other songwriters, including John Prine, Bob McDill, Dave Loggins, and Wayland Holyfield.

During the '70s, Don Williams became the most successful country artist in the world. His country-pop not only crossed over into the American pop mainstream, it also gained him a large following in England and Europe. In addition to his Top Ten hits, Williams won several country music awards, highlighted by the Country Music Association naming him Male Vocalist of the Year in 1978, the same year his number-one single, "Tulsa Time," was named Single of the Year. In the late '70s, he began acting, appearing primarily in the films of his friend Burt Reynolds, including W.W. & the Dixie Dancekings and Smokey & the Bandit II.

In the early '80s, Williams slowed down the pace of his career slightly, as he was suffering from back problems. Nevertheless, the hits continued to come and many of his singles reached number one. In 1986, he left MCA Records -- which had acquired the ABC label while he was recording for it -- and signed with Capitol. The change in labels didn't affect his career at all, as he continued to hit the Top Ten with regularity. In 1987, he underwent back surgery, which cured his problems. Williams signed with RCA Records in 1989. Initially, he continued to have hits, but his streak came to an end in early 1992, following his last Top Ten single, "Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy." Although he continued to perform in the mid-'90s, he had effectively retired to his Nashville farm, returning to recording in 1998 with I Turn the Page.

After some limited touring, Williams resumed his recording career with My Heart to You on Sugar Hill/Compendium in 2004, followed in 2006 by his "Farewell Tour of the World," playing throughout the United States and Europe, and another retirement. This one lasted until 2012,when he re-emerged with the acclaimed And So It Goes on Sugar Hill. Williams continued recording and performing; he released Reflections in March of 2014. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Good song.
great song
Love these songs. Too!
lmicheli213
The ultimate professional . Love his music.
Don one of the best, and better than most. Straight talk from the boss.
you just got to love that Don
Just saw Don in concert last week. He is still sounds awesome and puts on one great show. Don't know what we are gonna do when all the greats are gone. There are no new artists that can touch what came out of the '70s and '80s.
j'adore!!
All I can say is...I believe
quiltingbeas t 6 1
Don Williams only 6' 1"......the way this man sings who cares what his height is ...I would not care if he were 1' 6"...He is a fantastic artist....My grand kids all sing Williams song. The four year old says "Don dah best"
Do not care for this artist.can not see how he made it this fsar
I rate Don Williams as one of the best singers ever. I wish we had more such singers and music today.
remember Don Williams is Jerry Reeds 2nd favorite country music artist well he is one of my first living picks but Conway is probably I first but it is hard to classify all of these great artist so many of them but they are back to the basics vrs some of todays music
Have listened to him since I was a kid don't think ill ever get sick of him
Williams's voice was perfect. He didn't need an overload of instrumentat i o n or back up to cover weaknesses. There weren't any! (In this respect, he had a lot in common with Jim Reeves.)
this is what country music is all about love it
I finally got to see him in concert Oct. 12 at the Majestic Theater in Dallas. I was amazed to find that his voice and delivery has not changed... still that deep baritone. He still has a lot of fans here, and the concert was great, if a bit short (he is 74, after all). Several of us were wishing he had sung Amanda, but other than that, it was a fantastic concert.
jannchikata
Lovey
I love u Don. You are the reason I am happy finally. I always listen to u..
Grew up listening to him, love his music and voice. Just amazing!
My dad took my mom to a Don Williams concert when she was first pregnant with me and she decided if I was a girl, I would be named Amanda after his version of the song. 35 years later, here I am, a girl named Amanda and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Don Williams!
Izzy! I wish I could see him to let him know his music inspire me. I'm from NIGERIA. I came to AMERICA with his LPS bought more plus many CDs DON I wish you well with.
really awesome
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
timothy.walt e r . j o h n s o n
Like that Don Williams voice.
Don was my first concert ever back in 1976 when I was four years old at the New Mexico State fair. I now work in the music business as a eoadie
Saw him a couple of months ago in San Antonio. Doesn't have much to say but o what a voice!
i really want to see this guy. i love all of this musics. its 2013 but i still play it
It's 2013 now and I have seen him this year in Pocatello Idaho at the Stephens performing arts center and he still sounds great for 74
i wrote your my best friend back in the mid 60s. when did it supposedly get written and the recorded
He's only six foot one. That surprised me.
Seen Don Williams in concert at the Palladium in Carmel, Indiana last night....Gre a t show....his voice is still going strong!
Smooooove!
I'm just a country boy is my favorite..hi s music has always resonated with me..
The album And So It Goes (2012) is incredible and I highly recommend it to any and all Don Williams fans. Every cut is good or better and Don sounds just like he did 20-30 years ago!
That would be Gentle Giant not genital giant. That brings up a whole different image...lol
I told my kids I want What do you do with good old boys like me sung at my funeral which I hope is still a few off..
duffer1000
Whats not to like about Don Williams??
This man is so amazing! I am looking forward to seeing him in Colorado Springs in April! I was brought up listening to many classic country artists, but Don Williams is by far my favorite!
Who do I have to see to keep Don Williams, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, and a few others off of my Pandora?
Don Williams gives me a down home feeling every time I listen to his songs.
puggymylove
I have listened to his songs since I was at the age of 19 and i am now in 60 and still listen to his songs. He has a very clear and beautiful big voice. He is my favourite singers.
Don Williams is great, love his voice, and his music!!
camhock
j4crane
he is called the ***genital** * giant i just love how he brings me back to a simpler time!

Genital Giant... Epic nickname!
i think i'm one of hose weird teenagers. i love don williams and every other classic country artist. i don't even live in the country either! doesn't that make me weird? :D
i have been listening to don williams almost all my life, i love him and his music.. i have been lucky enough to see him in concert twice, i just wish i could have gone to more concerts
I think my husband got jealous of my fascination with Don Williams...h e offered to shave his beard into huge sideburns :)
I have the pleasure of taking my mother to see Don on Friday at Whitewater Amphitheater in Canyon Lake, Tx. Country's newest hotspot.. We are so excited....
Mercy!
cartyl
Saw him in concert in Chattanooga back in the late-70's. Played for over 2 hours with no break. What a night.
I bought a vehicle with a Don Willimas tape in it. GREAT MUSIC I wish Obama would listen to Don Williams.
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