GENTLE GIANTS: THE SONGS OF DON WILLIAMS AVAILABLE TODAY
Grand Ole Opry to Honor the “Gentle Giant” on Tuesday, May 30 with a performance from Alison Krauss,
John Prine, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires and others
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Country Music Hall of Famer Don Williams
turns 78 on Saturday, but it is his legion of “Gentle Giant” fans
around the globe that will receive a star-packed present Friday with the
Slate Creek Records release of Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams today, May 26, available HERE.
The 11-song tribute features an impressive lineup of musical innovators including Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Brandy Clark, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, Keb’ Mo’, Alison Krauss, Lady Antebellum, John Prine featuring Roger Cook, Pistol Annies, Chris Stapleton featuring Morgane Stapleton and Trisha Yearwood.
“I’m so honored to be part of Gentle Giants a tribute to Don
Williams. He is such a great person, such a huge influence on so many
people, and an icon in country music,” said Bentley, who contributed
“Some Broken Hearts Never Mend” to the album.
To celebrate the release and Williams’ extraordinary career, the Grand
Ole Opry will honor the music of the legend on Tuesday night’s Opry (May
30). The evening will feature performances by Opry member Krauss,
Prine, Isbell and Shires, all of whom appear on the album, as well as
Darius Rucker and Bill Anderson. Find tickets to Tuesday’s tribute show HERE.
“With this record, I’m reminded of what our old friend Jack Clement used
to describe as ‘magic,’ that intangible essence that happens in a
recording studio where a special song meets just the right voice –
accompanied by the best musicians – and voilà!” said Fundis.
And the gifts keep coming. This significant collection of country
classics not only honors Williams’ numerous artistic contributions, but
it also supports a great cause. All guest artist performances on the
album were generously donated in support of MusiCares®, the charitable
foundation created by The Recording Academy, which provides a safety net
of critical assistance for those in the music field in times of need.
The services cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal
emergencies. The foundation will receive a majority of the proceeds from
the sale of the album.
Williams, who earned his popular nickname from his 6-foot 1-inch frame
and his smooth baritone, announced his retirement from performing last
year, concluding an impressive five-decade career that includes two CMA
Awards, two ACM Awards, and the industry’s highest honor induction into
the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
Williams’ easy laid-back style was a comfortable fit for country
ballads. He charted 56 records and scored at least one major hit every
year between 1974 and 1991 – including 17 No. 1s. Among his best loved
songs are “Tulsa Time,” “It Must Be Love,” “Good Ole Boys Like Me,” “I
Believe in You,” “You’re My Best Friend,” “Some Broken Hearts Never
Mend,” “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me,” “Till the Rivers
All Run Dry,” “Lay Down Beside Me,” “Love Me Over Again,” “(Turn Out
the Light and) Love Me Tonight,” “Say It Again,” “Love is On a Roll,”
“We Got a Good Fire Goin’,” “I Wouldn’t Be a Man,” “Then It’s Love” and
“Heartbeat in the Darkness.”
Williams appeared in two movies with actor Burt Reynolds including “W.W.
& the Dixie Dancekings” and the follow up to “Smokey & the
Bandit.” He was enormously popular in the United states, but also built a
faithful international audience and was named Artist of the Decade by
readers of London-based Country Music People magazine in 1980.
“I still relish comments of how Don Williams’ music resonated with
people, how personally moved many were by his songs and by his warm,
honest delivery,” said Fundis. “So, you’re about to hear some of today’s
most respected recording artists – Gentle Giants themselves – singing
favorite Don Williams songs reminding us of another time, the man
himself and the power these songs still hold for listeners today.”
Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams Track Listing:
1. “Tulsa Time” – Pistol Annies
2. “I Believe in You” – Brandy Clark
3. “We’ve Got a Good Fire Goin'” – Lady Antebellum
4. “Some Broken Hearts Never Mend” – Dierks Bentley
5. “Amanda” – Chris Stapleton feat. Morgane Stapleton
6. “Till The Rivers All Run Dry” – Alison Krauss
7. “Love Is On A Roll” – John Prine feat. Roger Cook
8. “If I Needed You” – Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires
9. “Maggie’s Dream” – Trisha Yearwood
10. “Lord I Hope This Day is Good” – Keb’ Mo’
11. “Good Ole Boys Like Me” – Garth Brooks