Don Williams was known as the “Gentle Giant” of Country Music. This is because of his height and warm, smooth bass-baritone voice, and soft tones. Throughout the course of his career, every song he had released hit the Billboard Country charts. Each of his greatest hits has its fascinating stories.
As we recollect the prominence of Don Williams, let’s look back and listen to some of his greatest songs of all time.
You’re My Best Friend
The song was written by Wayland Holyfield. It was released in 1975 from Williams’ album “You’re My Best Friend”. Holyfield helped Williams find a worldwide audience through the song. In addition, the song was Williams’ second No.1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles. It is one of his signature songs.
I Believe In You
“I Believe In You” was Williams’ eleventh song to top No.1 on the country chart. I was written by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin. The song was subtly political. It spent 12 weeks on the country chart. The song spread throughout Europe and Australia.
Some Broken Hearts Never Mend
Another from Wayland Holyfield, the song was released in January 1977 and included on Williams’ album “Vision”. It was his sixth No. 1 song on country charts. The song has two distinct covers versions. Bellamy Brothers recorded a reggae version in 1990. While Telly Savalas made a version that was totally a huge hit in Switzerland.
William first recorded and released the song in 1973. It was written by Bob McDill. McDill wrote the song as an apology to his wife. It reached No. 33 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
Waylon actually heard it on a radio station, saying it’s the story of his life. With this, he made his own rendition in 1979 which was his eight No.1 on country charts.
The song has been an argument for fans of Country Music.
I Wouldn't Want to Live If You Didn't Love Me
William stopped to put gas in his tank then he went away to pay for it. The attendant recognized him by his credit card. The gasoline attendant was a struggling songwriter at that time. The guy offered William to check out a few of his songs. William had the guy send tapes with recorded demos. It includes the song I Wouldn't Want to Live If You Didn't Love Me. The song then was recorded and part of William’s third album entitled “Volume III”. The attendant happened to be Al Turney, the writer of the song.
Moreover, it was the first single of William from the album Volume 3. The song also became the No.1 hit from producer Allen Reynolds.
Release in October 1978, the song was one of Williams’ rockin’ performance. It has different sounds. This is the song that was covered a few times by different artists. The song was written by Danny Flowers. It was Williams' eighth number one on the country chart, spending a single week at number one and eleven weeks in the top 40.
Lay Down Beside Me
Though Williams wrote the song, Kenny Rogers was the first to record the song in 1976. Rogers’ version was fine and smooth but it was Williams’ rendition that made it to the chart. It reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart in 1979.
Good Ole Boys Like Me
Another song from Bob McDill. He wrote the song in 1980. McDill got his idea through the book of Robert Penn Warren’s “A Place To Come To”. The song merely about the standard southern themes packed into three and a half minutes. McDill also got his ideas by listening to a radio station in the south. A radio station that still playing when others went off the air. In fact, he included names of Dj’s to the song such as John R., Hoss Allen, Wolfman Jack.
If I Needed You
It was not Williams’ original song. It was Townes Van Zandt and the most romantic song he had done. William and Emmylou Harris made their collaboration in 1981. It’s his only collaboration that made it to the top. On the other hand, the song was written about Townes’ business partner and producers wife Anne Mittendorf Eggers.
Just As Long As I Have You
The love ballad was written by Dave Loggins and J.D. Martin. Loggins originally recorded the song in 1985 with Gus Hardin. As a matter of fact, their version peaked at No. 72 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. Covered by Williams in 1990 and became No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
Truly, Don Williams made songs that affect millions of people around the globe. Even artist look up to the Gentle Giant as their great influence.
Above all, he recorded a total of 46 singles.
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