Don Williams

By Ralphine Major

There were no flashing lights, little fanfare, and barely any movement on stage.  The simple setting seemed to match the artist and his music.

It was during the seventies and eighties.  Usually, I preferred another record album over concert tickets.  But, I had a change of heart when Don Williams came to town.  Another record album would have to wait.  Some of my co-workers chided me about being a fan of the singer who wore a crumpled felt hat instead of other country music artists of the day who appeared more sophisticated.  In my mind, their favorites did not compare to Williams who sang his slow tempo songs as if he had all day.  They often seemed to fit the category of easy listening as much as country.

In his Knoxville appearance, Williams and his small band sang many of his hit songs.  Some of his best known recordings include “I Believe in You,” “Till the Rivers All Run Dry,” and “You’re My Best Friend.”  The small band was all he needed for the amazing harmony and accompaniment for which he was known.  I remember him asking the audience if the music was too loud.  It definitely was not.

That was more than 30 years ago, and I had not listened to a Don Williams song in quite awhile.  After his recent death, I heard them again.  I had forgotten how the quality of his voice accents each word as if it were the most important one in all the lyrics.  It is uncharacteristic of me not to have taken a picture at the concert, but I do not remember taking one.  Recently, I dug through our stash of long-play record albums and found several of the late Don Williams.  One of his best hits albums still had the price on it— $4.99.  Don Williams truly had a style all his own.  For his fans, the unique style of the country music legend will likely be appreciated for years to come.

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