This Don Williams Retirement Isn’t His First, And Hopefully It Won’t Be His Last
It’s perfectly alright to be totally not okay with the news Tuesday (3-1) that Don Williams has decided to go into retirement, again. That hat, that beard, and most importantly that legendary smooth baritone voice that won him 17 #1 hits over his career and an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010 can’t just go softly in the night and not expect there to be some sad faces, and disappointed ears.
On February 2nd, Don Williams announced that he was cancelling a 21-city tour planned for February through April due to unexpected hip replacement surgery. Health problems have seen the 76-year-old cancel tours in the past as well. And apparently the prospect of getting back into the touring grind after his recovery was enough for country music’s “Gentle Giant” to decide call it quits for good.
“It’s time to hang my hat up and enjoy some quiet time at home,” Williams said in a simple statement. “I’m so thankful for my fans, my friends and my family for their everlasting love and support.”
This isn’t the first time Don Williams has officially retired. In 2006, Williams announced he was hanging it up and went on an international tour for one final farewell. As fans of his music can attest, Don Williams sings about taking time to enjoy the simple things in life and making room for friends and family in a hectic world. For some artists, it would seem against their nature to retire. But for Don Williams, he’s just practicing what he preaches.
But the allure of the stage was too much for Williams to stay away for too long, and four years after his initial retirement, Williams announced a new album, 2012’s And So It Goes. The album reminded Don Williams fans why he’s so important to country music, and Don followed it up with another excellent effort, 2014’s Reflections. Don would tour regularly, and appreciative crowds would show up and fill venues to capacity.
So Don Williams is retiring. Again. But I hope he doesn’t hold it against us if we hope for a speedy recovery from his hip surgery, and subsequent tours and albums, if he’s up for it of course. Because as much as the music of country legends like Waylon, Willie, Cash, and Jones is great to listen to, and there’s a brand new crop of artists out there today doing their best to keep the traditions of country music alive, there’s nothing like a soothing Don Williams song, and nobody to replace what he’s meant to country music.
March 1, 2016 @ 7:49 pm
Lord I hope cutting another record isn’t completely out of the question for him yet. That said, Reflections is a hell of a record to end a career on.
March 1, 2016 @ 11:59 pm
I’ll second that Able ….terrific record
March 1, 2016 @ 8:09 pm
I just seen him in concert back in October and he didn’t seem to be in very good health. Even though he just sat and sang his songs, it was the best concert I have ever been to. In my opinion there is no one that can even hold a candle to Don.
March 1, 2016 @ 8:59 pm
Isn’t really any more fitting of a nickname for an artist to describe him than the gentle giant. It has to be one of the best in country music history to understand how he sings.
March 1, 2016 @ 9:40 pm
Got to fulfill a lifelong dream by seeing him in October .You could tell he was in poor health ,and I had been hoping to see an article about how he was doing.Thank you for writing this.Be glad weve had Don performing as long as he has.
March 1, 2016 @ 10:25 pm
I got to see him in concert four times the last two years and was glad that I didnt pass up an opportunity. His set list is always like an extended greatest hits compilation – its very rare to hear a song that the audience doesnt sing along too.
Here’s hoping that he gets to enjoy some well deserved time off and then decides to cut one more album….maybe Final Reflections would be a worthy title. All in all, it’s ashame that he’s still overlooked and often forgotten because of his wuiet unassuming lifestyle.
If there’s one thing to take away from this – go see the legends when they’re playing nearby. No theatrics or stumbling around drunk on stage, taking their audiences for granted. Just a night of good classic music by entertainers who still give it their all after all these years.
March 1, 2016 @ 10:46 pm
Quite frankly, I don’t trust people who don’t like Don Williams. He’s just that good.
March 2, 2016 @ 12:04 am
That pretty much sums it up pistolero . Don would love that thought , I’m sure .
March 2, 2016 @ 9:21 am
Good for him I hope he can relax and recover from the hip replacement surgery and if he feels like recording or touring again then good for all of us and if not then we all have his huge catalog of music to enjoy.
March 2, 2016 @ 2:13 pm
I can still remember the first time I saw Don Williams. My favorite song of all time by any artist is actually “Good ole Boys like Me”. I was sitting in my seat and he walked out on stage, so I am having a drink and clapping and right off the bat he goes straight into it, first song. It was almost like it was happening too fast, I expected this song to be later in the set, it was almost like I didn’t have enough time to get ready for it. My sister and I still laugh about that. There could never be a more pure voice. It is truly unique and has the ability to put you in another place.
March 2, 2016 @ 2:42 pm
Don Williams is a true legend of country music. I really like his songs he put out. I hope he makes more music in the future.
March 2, 2016 @ 4:05 pm
I swear when I saw him sometime around 2000-2002 it was billed as a farewell tour. Then 2006 was I saw him again on another farewell tour. So since then I’ve seen him every chance I get. He was born 60 miles down the road and comes to town pretty much every tour. He was noticeably less spry in 2015 than in 2014, but it was still an excellent show.
March 2, 2016 @ 6:50 pm
I hope he still records music! His album And So It Goes is what made me aware of Don Williams (bad I know). I saw him in concert after that. Only a great singer with stellar songs could just sit on a stool and sing for the entire concert and still keep the audience engaged.
March 5, 2016 @ 2:35 pm
I can’t believe this. I have a four year old that LOVES Don Williams, and is going to be DISTRAUGHT that she can’t see him sing. That is all she wants to hear in the car, and knows most of his songs by heart. She received tickets from us to his Knoxville concert (that was supposed to
happen a couple of weeks ago) for Christmas. When we found out it was cancelled due to the hip replacement, she cried. It wasn’t long before she wiped her tears though, and wondered aloud what she could do to help him feel better. Soon after she was drawing him a picture. Her heart is HUGE. It wasn’t long after that we contacted the theater and were told the good news that he had rescheduled for September. You have never seen a happier girl than she was when we told her. We have been trying to explain when it will be, because she doesn’t understand how far away September is. I came to this site to catch up on the news and found out it is going to be a lot longer than we thought. She is going to be so disappointed. She loves “my Don Williams”, as she calls him. We love you Don. You have reached more hearts than you could ever know, and brought more joy and peace through your songs than words can express. Get well soon friend.
November 13, 2016 @ 8:01 am
I’ve loved since childhood and still love you. Im in tears now because it seems my dream of seeing you may never come true. I really wish you’d come to Ghana, you know. Please. Please. I care about your health. But i pray, you get better and you do your best to come to Ghana so that i get to see you at leadt for once