Don Williams has sadly passed away, aged 78. Representatives for Williams say he died after a “short illness”.
Born in Texas in 1939, Don Williams began his solo career in 1971. A crooner as much as a country singer, the laid-back artist retired in 2016.
During his career, Williams scored 17 number one and 45 top ten singles, including ‘Tulsa Time,’ ‘Good Ole Boys Like Me’ and ‘I Wouldn’t Want To Live If You Didn’t Love Me’.
Speaking of Williams earlier this year, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy said: “Don Williams is known as the gentle giant. He’s huge in some countries in Africa, I believe he may be on a postal stamp somewhere near the Ivory Coast. The first time I saw him I was sitting next to some folks and Don was halfway through his first song when the man turned to the women who was next to me and he said ‘it doesn’t get any smoother’. It really doesn’t.
“He had a long partnership with a writer named Bob McDill who would write these confessional kinda complex and challenging songs but know that the simplicity with which Don Williams would delivered them could get the song across in a way no body else could.
“For example, he had a hit with a song called ‘Good Ole Boys Like Me’ which talks about the writer Thomas Wolfe and Tennessee Williams. It was a major hit on country radio in middle America. People didn’t realise they were getting a little bit of a literary history lesson. That song still gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.”
A Don Williams tribute album was released this year, featuring cover versions from the likes of John Prine, Jason Isbell and Garth Brooks.