Growing up, one of my fondest memories is listening to old record and tapes of Don Williams with my dad. I knew all of Don Williams’ songs and most of them word for word. I had the good fortune to see Don Williams in concert in College Station, Texas in 2004 and I have to say that it was probably the best show I had ever seen. Mr. Williams sat on his bar stool and gave a show I, for one, will never forget.
It was pleasantly surprising to me then that the crowd was almost entirely college students who sang along with every song. However, with Don Williams’ talent for story-telling and honeyed baritone, it is no wonder that his music has dwelt in the hearts of generations around the world. A great influence to many musicians, including country super star Keith Urban, Don showed us all that music was about the music, not about the show.
Born in Texas in 1939, Williams made his solo debut in 1971. Between 1974 and 1991, 42 of the 46 singles Williams recorded made the Top Ten and he had 17 Number One Hits; including his first, “I Wouldn’t Want to Live if You Didn’t Love Me”. Other hits include “Good Old Boys Like Me”, “I Believe In You”, “Tulsa Time”, and “Amanda”.
Four years ago, we found that “Goodbye” wasn’t really good at all when country legend Don Williams went into retirement after more than 3 decades in the country music industry. This year, Williams came out of retirement for a short tour and on October 25th, 2010, Don Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Although Williams was not on hand for the induction, due to a case of bronchitis, he resumed his tour a few days later. The last date of the tour is November 9th, in Texarkana, TX which was rescheduled due to his illness.
There is no word as of yet whether Williams will resume his tour in 2011. When questioned, Williams’ representative had no comment. Even though Don didn’t make it down to the Houston area, I am hoping one day I will see him again.
Hats off to you, Mr Williams, thank you for the years we shared. And in case you have wondered… everything is about the same since you’ve been gone…all we are missing is you.