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Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Don Williams, country music legend, dies after short illness at 78

Don Williams, country music legend, dies after short illness at 78

On the Don Williams bio in the Country Music Hall Of Fame (the singer was inducted into the institution in 2010) Museum's Encyclopedia of Country Music, there's an anecdote related by MCA Nashville president Jim Foglesong, who recalls how a promotion director told him "You know, we have an artist that we nearly don't even have to promote to radio".

Williams, whose imposing height and warm, reassuring voice earned him the nickname "Gentle Giant", passed away on September 8 after a short illness, according to the Webster public relations firm. It reached No. 14 on the country charts, a modest success in the grand scheme of Williams' career. Eric Clapton recorded his "We're More Than Friends" and Pete Townshend redid his "Til the Rivers All Run Dry". He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

Those were the lyrics of one of the greatest hit of Country Music's Gentle Giant, Don Williams.

Both musicians were well established in their genre, but they leave this world at very different times in their careers.

He won the Country Music Association's awards for best male vocalist and best single for "Tulsa Time" in 1978.

Williams topped country charts with regularity through the "70s, in songs characterized by an easygoing, Sunday-afternoon air and delivered with a smooth voice that walked the seam of a porch-front baritone and stage-ready tenor".

- Madeleine Ricks (@radmadricks)Tough day for country music with the death of Don Williams as well. "The Shelter Of Your Eyes" is his first single as a solo artist. Don Williams in his hey days reigned with his brand of country music which is still the most followed genre of music in United States.

Williams also appeared in the movies “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings” and “Smokey and the Bandit II.”. "We spent some time together and I think we have a mutual respect for each other". Williams' return to the spotlight also included a pair of albums on Sugar Hill, 2012's And So It Goes, and 2014's Reflections, which included contributions from Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, and Keith Urban. "I'm so thankful for my fans, my friends and my family for their everlasting love and support", Don said at the time.

His final live performance was a year ago, when he told the audience it was time to hang up his hat.

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