Don Williams (born May 27, 1939, Floydada, Texas, United States), is an American country singer, songwriter and a 2010 inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He grew up inPortland, Texas, and graduated in 1958 from Gregory-Portland High School. After seven years with the folk-pop group Pozo-Seco Singers, he began his solo career in 1971, singing popular ballads and amassing 17 No. 1 Country & Western hits.
His straightforward yet smooth bass-baritone voice, soft tones, and imposing build earned him the nickname: "Gentle Giant" of country music.
Early career[edit source | edit]Edit
When Don was three years old he sang in a local talent contest—his first public performance—and won first prize, an alarm clock. 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 Pozo-Seco Singers, a folk-pop group. 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.
Solo career[edit source | edit]Edit
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 number five, 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 number one hit, and was the first of a string of top ten hits he had between 1974 and 1991. Only four of his 46 singles didn't make it to the Top Ten.
"I Believe in You" is a 1980 single written by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin and recorded by Don Williams. "I Believe in You" would be Don Williams' eleventh #1 on the country chart. The single stayed at #1 for two weeks and spent 12 weeks on the country chart.  "I Believe in You" would be Don Williams' only Top 40 entry, where it peaked at #24. It was also hit in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. 
Early in 2006, Williams announced his "Farewell Tour of the World" and played numerous dates both in the U.S. and abroad, wrapping the tour up with the "Final Farewell Concert" inMemphis, Tennessee at the Cannon Center for Performing Arts on November 21, 2006. Playing to a full house, the final event was well received and quite emotional for fans in attendance.
As of 2010, Williams had come out of retirement and was once again touring.
In March 2012, Williams announced the release of a new record And So It Goes (UK release April 30, 2012; US/Worldwide release June 19, 2012), his first new record since 2004. The record is his first with the independent Americana label Sugar Hill Records. The record includes guest appearances by Alison Krauss, Keith Urban, and Vince Gill.
To accompany his latest album release he embarked on a UK Tour.
Personal life[edit source | edit]Edit
Williams married Joy Bucher on April 10, 1960. They have two sons, Gary and Tim.
Recognition[edit source | edit]Edit
Williams has had a strong influence over a variety of recording artists of different genres.His hits have been covered by artists such as Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Claude Russell Bridges, Lefty Frizzell, Josh Turner, Sonny James, Alison Krauss, Billy Dean, Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Lambchop, Alan Jackson, Waylon Jennings, Pete Townshend and Tortoise (band) with Bonnie "Prince" Billy. His music is also popular internationally, including Great Britain, Australia,Ukraine, India,Ghana and Nigeria. On February 23, 2010, the Country Music Association announced that Don Williams was to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Awards and nominations[edit source | edit]Edit
- 1976 ACM Top Male Vocalist
- 1977 ACM Top Male Vocalist
- 1978 ACM Top Male Vocalist
- 1979 ACM Top Male Vocalist
- 1980 ACM Album of the Year - I Believe in You
- 1980 ACM Single Record of the Year - I Believe in You
- 1980 ACM Top Male Vocalist
- 1982 ACM Album of the Year - Listen to the Radio