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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. and the Dixie Dancekings and Smokey and 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.
Wikipedia:For other people named Don Williams, see Don Williams (disambiguation).
Don Williams (born May 27, 1939, Floydada, Texas, United States) is an American country singer, songwriter and a 2010 inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He grew up in Portland, Texas, and graduated in 1958 from Gregory-Portland High School. After seven years with the folk-pop group Pozo-Seco Singers, he began his solo career in 1971, singing popular ballads and amassing 17 number one country & western hits.
His straightforward yet smooth bass-baritone voice, soft tones, and imposing build earned him the nickname: "Gentle Giant" of country music.http://countrymusichalloffame.org/full-list-of-inductees/view/don-williams
When Don was three years old he sang in a local talent contest—his first public performance—and won first prize, an alarm clock. He began playing guitar as a teenager, which he learned from his mother. While a teenager, he played with country, rock n' roll and folk bands. He formed his first band with Lofton Kline, called The Strangers Two, and in 1964 was approached by Susan Taylor to form a trio which ultimately became the Pozo-Seco Singers, a folk-pop group. The band recorded a song called, "Time" on a local label called Edmark Records and it became a regional hit in their home state of Texas. Columbia Records, picked up the record, signed the group, and released a series of Top 50 hits and three albums. After releasing a fourth album on Certron Records in 1970, the group disbanded in 1971.
After the Pozo-Seco Singers disbanded, Williams briefly abandoned the music industry and got a job working for his father-in-law. Soon, however, Williams resumed his career in music. In December 1971, Williams signed on as a songwriter for Jack Music Inc. In 1972, Williams inked a contract with JMI Records as a solo country artist. His 1974 song, "We Should Be Together," reached number five, and he signed with ABC/Dot Records. His first single with ABC/Dot, "I Wouldn't Want to Live If You Didn't Love Me," became a number one hit, and was the first of a string of top ten hits he had between 1974 and 1991. Only four of his 46 singles didn't make it to the Top Ten.
"I Believe in You" is a 1980 single written by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin and recorded by Don Williams. "I Believe in You" would be Don Williams' eleventh #1 on the country chart. The single stayed at #1 for two weeks and spent 12 weeks on the country chart. "I Believe in You" would be Don Williams' only Top 40 entry, where it peaked at #24. It was also hit in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
Early in 2006, Williams announced his "Farewell Tour of the World" and played numerous dates both in the U.S. and abroad, wrapping the tour up with the "Final Farewell Concert" in Memphis, Tennessee at the Cannon Center for Performing Arts on November 21, 2006. Playing to a full house, the final event was well received and quite emotional for fans in attendance.
As of 2010, Williams had come out of retirement and was once again touring.
In March 2012, Williams announced the release of a new record And So It Goes (UK release April 30, 2012; US/Worldwide release June 19, 2012), his first new record since 2004. The record is his first with the independent Americana label Sugar Hill Records. The record includes guest appearances by Alison Krauss, Keith Urban, and Vince Gill.
To accompany his latest album release he embarked on a UK Tour.Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 386. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 680. Don Williams.com News "Country Music Legend Don Williams to release "And So It Goes" on June 19th". Sugarhillrecords.com. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
Williams married Joy Bucher on April 10, 1960. They have two sons, Gary and Timmy.
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, Waylon Jennings, Pete Townshend and Tortoise (band) with Bonnie "Prince" Billy. His music is also popular internationally, including Great Britain, Australia, Ukraine, India, Ghana and Nigeria. On February 23, 2010, the Country Music Association announced that Don Williams was to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.Manage Domain Name Don Williams: Into Africa and Africa 4 inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame