Country stars and fans alike continue to mourn the death of Country Music Hall of Fame member Don Williams, who passed away last week at age 78 in Mobile, AL. His death has prompted many to revisit Williams classics in their own libraries and still others to discover his music for the first time. For country fans on that journey, here are five must-listen Don Williams classics.
“Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good”: Penned by veteran songwriter Dave Hanner, Williams released the tune in late 1981. It reached No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart soon afterward. Artists including Anne Murray, Lee Ann Womack and Keb Mo have recorded versions of the tune, and The Voice contestant Lauren Duski performed it on Season 12 of the show.
“I Believe In You”: A country No. 1 for Williams in 1980 and one that also appeared on Top 40 charts. Roger Cook and Sam Hogin composed the song, which is considered by many to be Williams’ most well-known.
“Tulsa Time”: Vying for the top spot on any list of Don Williams songs, this one was written by Danny Flowers and released by Williams in 1978. Eric Clapton famously recorded it a year later. (Oh, and the bass player is pretty fun to watch in this performance.)
“Good Ole Boys Like Me”: The Bob McDill-penned classic is arguably one of the finest examples of storytelling country music has to offer, and one of many McDill songs Williams recorded. The late singer recorded the tune after Kenny Rogers reportedly passed on it for being “too literary.” Don Williams fans beg to differ.
“It Must Be Love”: Williams recorded this McDill tune in 1979 and it was yet another to reach No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart. Alan Jackson famously recorded it in 2000, taking it right back to No. 1 when it was released as as single soon afterward.
In all, Don Williams charted 45 Billboard Hot Country Top 10s and 17 No. 1s, the publication reports. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.