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Don Williams Biography


Home > Music > W > Williams, Don > Biography


Birth Name: Don Williams
Born: 1939/05/27
Birth Place: Floydada, Texas, U.S.
Years Active: 1971-2006
Genres: Country, Country Rock, Pop


Don Williams (born May 27, 1939 in Floydada, Texas), 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. His straightforward yet smooth bass-baritone voice, soft tones, and an imposing build earned him the nickname "The Gentle Giant" of country music.

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 folk-pop group Pozo-Seco Singers. 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. The group disbanded in 1971, at which point Williams embarked on a solo career.

Williams started out as a songwriter for Jack Music Inc. Eventually, he signed with JMI Records as a solo artist. His 1974 song, "We Should Be Together," reached #5, 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 #1 hit, and was the first of a string of Top 10 hits he had between 1974 and 1991 . Only four of his 46 singles didn't make it to the Top Ten.

In 1978, Don Williams was the Country Music Association's "Male Vocalist of the Year" and his "Tulsa Time" was named Single of the Year. His hits have been covered by artists such as Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Lefty Frizzell, Josh Turner, Sonny James, Alison Krauss, Billy Dean, Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Lambchop, Alan Jackson, Waylon Jennings, Pete Townshend and Tortoise with Bonnie "Prince" Billy.