Country Music Hall of Fame member Don Williams has died after a short illness at the age of 78.
Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young said:
In giving voice to songs like ‘Good Ole Boys Like Me,’ ‘Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good’ and ‘Amanda,’ Don Williams offered calm, beauty, and a sense of wistful peace that is in short supply these days. His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times. Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence, and ageless intent will do so while standing on the shoulders of this gentle giant.
Williams was born in Floydada, TX (north east of Lubbock) and grew up in Portland, TX (near Corpus Christi).
In the early 60’s, Williams and Lofton Kline performed around the Corpus Christi area as the duo The Strangers Two. In 1964, the met fellow artist Susan Taylor and formed the Pozo-Seco Singers. The new group had their first hit with the song “Time” which went to 47 on the Hot 100 and 3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. They followed with “I Can Make It With You” (1966 / #32), “I Believed It All” (1967 / #96 Pop / #8 AC) among a number of others.
The Pozo-Seco Singers continued to record through 1970 but broke up after their fourth and final album, Spend Some Time With Me, was released. Williams went to work for a short time for his father-in-law before signing with Jack Clement’s Jack Music as a songwriter. A year later, in 1972, he signed with the small JMI Records where he had four top twenty country hits before being signed by Dot.
His first single for the new label, “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me”, became his first of seventeen Country number 1’s. Over the next ten years, he would have 27 straight top tens. In total he scored 44 top ten country hits.
Don also crossed over to the pop charts in 1980 with “I Believe In You” which went to 24 on the Hot 100 and 8 on the Adult Contemporary charts.
Williams also dabbled in film, mainly working with Burt Reynolds in movies such as W.W. & the Dixie Dancekings and Smokey and the Bandit II.
Don retired from touring in 2006 but came out of retirement in 2010 with new recordings and tours. It was also in 2010 that he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Williams number 1 country records:
I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me (1974)
You’re My Best Friend (1974)
(Turn Out the Light And) Love Me Tonight (1975)
Til the Rivers All Run Dry (1975)
Say It Again (1975)
Some Broken Hearts Never Mend (1977)
I’m Just a Country Boy (1977)
Tulsa Time (1978)
It Must Be Love (1979)
Love Me Over Again (1979)
I Believe in You (1980)
Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good (1981)
If Hollywood Don’t Need You (Honey I Still Do) (1982)
Love Is On a Roll (1983)
Stay Young (1983)
That’s The Thing About Love (1984)
Heartbeat in the Darkness (1986)