over to the top 30 on the Hot 100.
Below: Photo of Don Williams playing in London. Inset: Don Williams gave Billy Sanford the guitar pictured in both the London photo and on the cover of a published music book of Don Williams songs. Above Right: Just a few of the All-Access passes Don Williams' guitarist Billy Sanford collected in working decades with Don Williams. Cheatham county Connection Williams was a very private man who lived on a working farm in Cheatham County. He served as an elder at his family church in Ashland City. Country Music Hall of Fame musician Billy Sanford , who owns property in Cheatham County, was Williams’ gui- tarist for 40 years, playing on many of Williams' albums and touring with him all over the world. Williams died on September 8, 2017 at age 78. "Don really cared about his music," Sanford said. "He took his career very seriously, and he cared about his fans. He tried to read every letter. He'd ask me to help him go through them some times. You wouldn't believe how many people named their kids Amanda."
The late Don Williams , known as “The Gentle Giant,” came to prominence in the 1960s as a member of the folk group The Pozo-Seco Singers . The trio recorded several hit records, with the biggest being “Time.” By 1971, Williams had gone solo, and had signed a publishing deal with Jack Clement . The Hall of Fame producer was so taken with Don’s style that he offered him a recording contract with his JMI Records in 1972. Early hits in- cluded “Atta Way To Go” and “Come Early Morning,” as well as “We Should Be Together,” which became his first Billboard top 10 hit in 1974. He then moved to ABC/ Dot (Later MCA), where the hits increased. Tracks such as “Rake and Ramblin’ Man,” “Tul- sa Time,” and “Nobody But You” helped to make him one of the most-played artists on country radio in the 1970s and 1980s. He took home the Male Vo- calist of the Year trophy from the Coun- try Music Association in 1978, and notched his biggest hit in 1981 with “I Believe In You,” which also crossed
Subsequent moves to Capitol Nashville and RCA kept Williams on the charts into the 1990s as he continued to play for huge crowds on the road. His suc- cess in the United States is well-docu- mented, but the music of Williams has made him an international star – with followings in Africa, England and New Zealand. He has placed 52 singles in the top 40 on the country charts in the United States, with 17 going to No. 1. Williams was a member of The Country Music Hall of Fame and The Grand Ole Opry. He appeared in the films W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and Smokey & The Bandit II with Burt Reynolds as well was a guest performer on The Dukes of Hazzard . Most notable Williams hits include "I Believe in You," ''Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good," ''You're My Best Friend," ''Some Broken Hearts Never Mend," ''Till the Rivers All Run Dry," "Back in My Younger Days,” and "Amanda."
Biographical information provided by www.DonWilliams.com
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