Don Williams: The Gentle Giant Country Music Will Always Remember
But I believe in love
I believe in babies
I believe in Mom and Dad
And I believe in you.
Those were the lyrics of one of the greatest hit of Country Music’s Gentle Giant, Don Williams. The news of his death on Friday came as a huge blow, throwing country music into mourning leaving many heaping encomiums on the late singer.
Born in 1939 in the rural community of Floydada in Texas, the legendary country music icon was raised in Portland, Texas where he learnt to play the guitar from his mother.
With more than 20 albums to his name and over 50 singles, Williams had 17 of his singles hit number one of the Billboard country chart. This include “You’re My Best Friend” and “Lord, I Hope This day Is Good,” “Tulsa Time.”
His biggest hit “I Believe in You” came in 1981. This reached the top of the country charts and number 24 on the Hot 100 chart. He had a huge fan base across various part of the world.
The 6 feet 1-inch giant was adept at writing and recording plain-spoken lyrics extolling the virtues of romance and commitment.
In 2006, he briefly retired. He announced his retirement from touring, saying “It’s time to hang my hat up and enjoy some quiet time at home. I’m so thankful for my fans, my friends and my family for their everlasting love and support.”
He, however, made a return to touring in 2010. The same year he was inducted into the Hall of Fame and he played his final show in 2016.
In May 2017, a tribute album, Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams, was released in his honour.
His publicist, Kirt Webster, who announced his death on Friday, September 8, said he died of brief illness, emphysema at 78. Don is survived by his wife of 57 years, and his 2 sons.
Although dead, Williams music lives on. The CEO of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Kyle Young speaking of Williams said, “His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times.”
Below are some of the heartfelt condolences and tributes on social media space by the fans of the music legend.
— The African Voice (@teddyeugene) September 9, 2017
Country music is at loss today. Our prayers are with the families of Don Williams & Troy Gentry. It’s a sad day.
— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) September 8, 2017
Sad to hear that #DonWilliams died. Was surprised at how hugely popular he was in West Africa during my Peace Corps days in Mali.
— Mike Kelly (@MSidKelly) September 9, 2017
RIP Don Williams, one of the most humble singers ever!!! pic.twitter.com/M3zAutpWSQ
— Curt Bussell (@curtbussell) September 8, 2017