Country Music: Great Don Williams Dies At 78

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By SAMUEL ABULUDE with Agency Report

Don Williams, a singer of country music who emerged as one of the biggest stars during the late 1970s, died on Friday, September 8 in Mobile, Alabama, Aged 78.

His publicist, Kirt Webster, said the cause was emphysema. 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. Never entirely comfortable in the limelight, 17 of his singles, including earnest declarations like
“You’re My Best Friend” and “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good,” reached the top of the Billboard country chart from 1974 to 1984.

He found particularly enthusiastic fans in Britain and Africa, where his admirers included the rock stars Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton.

Born Don Williams on May 27, 1939, in the rural north Texas community of Floydada, he released more than 40 albums in his career, on MCA, Capitol, RCA and other labels. He also appeared in two movies, “W. W. and Dixie Dancekings” (1975) and “Smokey and the Bandit II” (1980). He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

Don W is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Joy Bucher and their two sons, Gary and Timmy; and four grandchildren.

According to the NewYork Times, Mr. Williams announced his retirement last year, saying in a statement that it was “time to hang my hat up and enjoy some quiet time at home.” A tribute album, “Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams,” including performances by Lady Antebellum and Garth Brooks, was released this year.

Mr. Williams cultivated strong fan support in India and Latin America and was one of the few country stars to tour in Africa. In 1997 he released a DVD, “Into Africa,” recorded live in Harare, Zimbabwe.