Don Williams – Tulsa Time

I met Don Williams many times. I can’t say I really knew the man well but he was as down to earth as you could get. When I was growing up he would mow the High School baseball field and the City Park fields where I live just to help out. He gave back to the community and always would be nice to anyone.

Tulsa Time was released in 1978 and peaked at #1 in the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and #1 in Canada RPM Country Tracks. “Tulsa Time” was Williams’ eighth of 17 number ones. He had 45 top ten hits.

Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend were admirers of Don Williams and both covered his songs. Eric Clapton would cover this song and take it to #30 in the Billboard 100.

Tulsa Time was written by Chuck Flowers.
“I wrote ‘Tulsa Time’ in about a half an hour in a motel in Tulsa. There was a big snowstorm, and we had the night off because we couldn’t work. I wrote it while watching The Rockford Files [a dramedy private eye NBC series starring James Garner]. So, I played it for Don, and a few months later I played it for Eric. I never even made a demo or put it on tape or anything. They both just went and recorded it ‘cuz it’s so simple.”

“Tulsa Time”

I left Oklahoma, drivin’ in a Pontiac
Just about to lose my mind
I was goin’ to Arizona
Maybe on to California
Where the people all live so fine.

My baby said, I’z crazy
My mama called me lazy
I was gonna show ’em all this time
‘Cause you know I ain’t no fool
And I don’t need no more schoolin’
I was born to just walk the line.

Livin’ on Tulsa time
Livin’ on Tulsa time
Well, you’ll know I been through it
When I set my watch back to it
Livin’ on Tulsa Time.

Well, there I was in Hollywood
Wishin’ I was doin’ good
Talkin’ on the telephone line
But they don’t need me in the movies
And nobody sings my songs
Guess, I’m just a wastin’ time.

Well, then I got to thinkin’
Man I’m really sinkin’
An I really had a flash this time
I had no business leavin’
An nobody would be grievin’
If I just went on back to Tulsa time.

Livin’ on Tulsa time
Livin’ on Tulsa time
Gonna set my watch back to it
‘Cause you know I been through it
Livin’ on Tulsa time.

Livin’ on Tulsa time
Livin’ on Tulsa time
Gonna set my watch back to it
‘Cause you know I been through
Livin’ on Tulsa time.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

16 thoughts on “Don Williams – Tulsa Time”

  1. Love both of these versions but I lean toward Don Williams’. Don Williams is one of the few Country artists I’ve seen in concert. I saw him when I was in high school. Didn’t want to go…Was grounded and had to go with my Mom and her friend. It was a really good show. He sat on a stool all concert long and just played and sang. I was riveted. His voice, so full and deep and wonderfully kind and lazy, but in a good way. Like a gentle stream is lazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mom was a big fan also. He was a fantastic guy…he would go out of his way to talk to you. I didn’t see him after my teenage years. I didn’t realize he still had hits in the 90s. I always liked “I Believe In You”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just looked it up and I thought he wrote it but he didn’t…that surprised me…but he did produce it. I agree it was a perfect arrangement. I’ll never forget that song.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Underrated country artist- he would never make it today in country music though- he was too good. Great to hear that he was a good guy- i would have been surprised to have heard otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. He was all class. The other ones that lived where I do was Mel Tillis and Randy Travis. Mel was very nice but Randy I only said hello to. My sister was gaga over him.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I picked up Travis’s debut album last week on vinyl- love that album- I hope he is doing better health wise. .. Mel is another one who always seemed like a nice guy… In reading about Walter “Magnet and Steel” Egan yesterday I came across a note that says he is now a substitute teacher in Williamson County near Nashville.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. That would be Franklin probably and I was just there this morning. This is embarassing but I thought Egan passed away…but no it was Walter Becker that recently passed.

        I read about Travis…I hope he is doing better also.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That is really neat you were acquainted with Don Williams. It’s great to know that he was a nice, down to earth guy, too. I loved his music. I’d bet Eric and Pete weren’t his only admirers from the rock genre, either.

    Liked by 1 person

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