Country Music legend Don Williams has died
Don Williams, the legendary Country Music singer has died according to a statement published by his publicist Kirt Webster less than two hours ago. Williams died following a short illness, with funeral arrangements pending.I grew up listening to his tunes because my father had all his albums that dated back to before mid 1970s. My dad’s favorite song was I Believe In You released in 1981 way before your blogger was even born. As a tween and teen, Sunday afternoons my dad used to sing along as the song was playing with the words, Well, i don’t believe that heaven waits, for only those who congregate, i’d like to think of God as love, he’s down below, he’s up above, he’s watchin’ people everywhere, he knows who does and doesn’t care, and i’m an ordinary man, sometimes i wonder who I am, but i believe in love. Other songs that my dad liked were You’re My Best Friend, Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good, Some Broken Hearts Never Mend, Back in My Younger Days and Till the Rivers All Run Dry are always an easy listening. And hey, I can’t forget that I still have original copies of movies Smokey and the Bandit II and W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings which Williams made an appearance, of cause copies passed on to me by dad.In early last year when Williams announced it was “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,” I spent the whole weekend listening to his music, he was a singer that my dad appreciated than any other in Country Music. Williams, a well known country singer and songwriter was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2010 a day that i recall vividly a Texas based female friend telling me the induction of Williams was long overdue, she is equally a great fan as she was born in the same area as Williams, she was actually the one who alerted me on Williams death less than hour ago.
Williams was often described by Country Music commentators as the Gentle Giant of country music due to his soft voice and down to earth lifestyle. Williams’s songs are identifiable, his mellow, smooth baritone makes him one of the greatest ever in the genre. My dad used to tell me that Williams always projected humility, dignity and never involved himself with the 1970s Country Music movements that were characterized by violence, drugs and sex and what he used to call the 1980s Cowboy era which saw prominent singers in the industry hit low moments in their careers, some never recovered. Years down the line I came to prove dad’s positive views of Williams when I learned in my three trips to Nashville that Williams unlike many other Country singers of his generation rarely toured and conducted few media interviews and even a friend based in Vanderbilt University told me how he spent one his summer holidays in 1990s as a youngster together with Williams on singer’s farm west of Nashville. When early this year a Hillwood Country Club friend shipped to me a copy of Gentle Giants:The Songs of Don Williams, an incredible list of superstars saluting Williams including the likes of Allison Kraus, Pistol Annies, Jason Isbell, Keb Mo’, John Prine and Garth Brooks I couldn’t thank him enough. Listening to those tracks, there is no doubt Williams’s legacy on country music cuts across different generations from my dad generation, my millennial generation and possibly to millennium generation. Tributes have started pouring in as i write this post, the Country Music Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young has put up a statement saying “His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times,” Young says. “Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence and ageless intent will do so while standing on the shoulders of this gentle giant.” Contador Harrison will forever remember Don Williams songs for being part of his tween and teenage life and beyond.