Don Williams sings “You’re My Best Friend”
Hall of Fame Inductee, Don Williams (Donald Ray Williams) of Floydada, Texas, was born on May 27, 1939. His music career began in 1964 as a member of the successful charting folk-pop group Pozo-Seco Singers (alongside Susan Taylor and Lofton Cline), who recorded for Columbia Records.
When the group disbanded in 1969, Don Williams found work outside of the music industry but quickly found his way back as a songwriter for Jack Clement in 1971. The following year, Williams inked a recording contract with JMI Records. His 1973 release, “We Should Be Together,” reached number five on the charts and led to a record deal with ABC/Dot.
Williams earned his first number one with “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me.” He would reach the top the charts 17 times between 1974 and 1991, and dominated the radio as one of its most-played artists in the 70s and early 80s. Remarkably, only four out of the 46 singles he released throughout his career did not reach the top-ten!
Growing up, Williams was the youngest of three boys living in a broken home. When Don was just 24 years old, his oldest brother, Kenneth, died after being accidentally electrocuted. Perhaps these things made him treasure his family life more than most musicians, but he was reluctant to tour, even at the peak of his career. It was well-known that Country music’s “Gentle Giant” was happiest working on the family farm and staying close to home.
“It’s one of those blessings and curses kind of things,” Williams said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1994.”If you have the talent, it’s a blessing. But there’s times that … a lot of the prices that you have to pay to be a part of it is a curse. But as far as … the way people have responded to what I’ve done, there’s very few things in my life that I’ve done that come anywhere close to making you feel exhilarated and humbled and fulfilled and challenged and all that, all at the same time.”
Don Williams had a brief resurgence with his 2012 project, And So It Goes (featuring cameos by Keith Urban, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and others). The album introduced a whole new generation of music fans to his soft baritone voice, before he departed for his eternal home on September 8, 2017.
If you’d like to learn more about the Don Williams’ legacy, please visit: https://www.don-williams.com