Don Williams – I Believe In You

We are going in a different direction today…some older country from 1980. Don’s voice is just so good…he doesn’t have an exaggerated southern drawl…it’s just quality.

My friend Matt (observationblogger) posted two songs (Amanda and I Recall A Gypsy Woman) by Don Williams and it reminded me of my memories of meeting Don Williams as a pre-teen and teenager. His popularity was much more international than I ever knew at the time. This song for instance was very popular in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK. During that time I thought country music was only popular in the southern US.

I was around 10-12 and I played baseball at the city ballpark. I would go there after school and practice. There were days I would just hang around and talk to people. I saw this man mowing the grass that had this old cowboy hat on. After a little while, he stopped and talked to me and asked me how I was doing. I knew the guy’s face and it came to me… I was talking to Don Williams. The reason I knew him was because of my mom’s country albums. I wasn’t into country music but some songs I did like.

I would see him off and on throughout my teenage years and he always was as nice as can be. I went to school and played baseball with his son. Don would mow the city park and the high school field. I’m not sure if he was bored or just wanted to help the community…he was a super guy either way.

This song was released as the first single and title track from Don Williams’ I Believe in You album, this became his 11th #1 on the Country chart. It also peaked at #1 in Canada on the Country Charts. It ended up being Don Williams’ only Top 40 song on the Billboard 100, the song peaked at #24 in the Billboard 100, #4 in New Zealand, and #20 in Australia.

All together Williams had 21 #1 singles on the Country Charts and a total of 25 studio albums and 62 singles.

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

I Believe In You

I don’t believe in superstars
Organic food and foreign cars
I don’t believe the price of gold
The certainty of growing old
That right is right and left is wrong
That north and south can’t get along
That east is east and west is west
And being first is always best

But I believe in love
I believe in babies
I believe in mom and dad
And I believe in you

Well I don’t believe that heaven waits
For only those who congregate
I like to think of God as love
He’s down below, he’s up above
He’s watching people everywhere
He knows who does and doesn’t care
And I’m an ordinary man
Sometimes I wonder who I am

But I believe in love
I believe in music
I believe in magic
And I believe in you

I know with all my certainty
What’s going on with you and me
Is a good thing
It’s true, I believe in you

I don’t believe virginity
Is as common as it used to be
In working days and sleeping nights
That black is black and white is white
That Superman and Robin Hood
Are still alive in Hollywood
That gasoline’s in short supply
The rising cost of getting by

But I believe in love
I believe in old folks
I believe in children
I believe in you

I believe in love
I believe in babies
I believe in mom and dad
And I believe in you

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

33 thoughts on “Don Williams – I Believe In You”

  1. In my younger years I worked in a garment factory. It was hard and tedious work. Someone in the office played Don Williams’ greatest hits album over the intercom nonstop. It was one of the few joys of working in that windowless building. I never tired of it. I love his voice to this day.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sometimes music can lift us out of where we are… I worked as a stock person in a parts cage and the oldies channel did the same for me.
      Yes I love his voice… plus he was a genuine nice guy on top of it.

      Like

  2. That’s an incredible story, Max! An evidently successful country artist mowing the lawn at a local sports field and high school? I mean, seriously, how many other artists can you name who did that? Of course, I hope Williams had not fallen on hard times and was forced to do odd jobs to survive!

    As for this particular tune, it’s what five or six years ago I would have called hillbilly music. But I’ve since come around when it comes to country music. Now I feel there is a lot of great country music out there. The story-telling in many of these songs is great, and some are quite soulful as well.

    Of course, I must add country has become a very broad genre with a ton of crossover action into other genres. I’m probably still most comfortable when it’s a blend of country with something else like southern rock or bluegrass. There’s a lot of great musicianship in country. I dig pedal steel guitar and country fiddles.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh no he did it for the pleasure of it. He was probably quite well off. I have read where him and Clapton would hang out… I have to wonder if Clapton ever came to our small town?

      The reason I liked him is because his voice wasn’t overly southern. He had a nice texture. Christian I would almost bet you have heard some of his other songs like Tulsa Time.

      He was a super nice guy to go along with his voice and songwriting.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes that is the same one… Eric was very heavily into country while hanging out with Don…
        I don’t think Willams wrote it though but he was the first to do it and then Eric did

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Currently listening to Williams’ version and like it. It was written by Danny Flowers who apparently also wrote some additional tunes for Williams and co-wrote “Gulf Coast Highway”, recorded by Emmylou Harris (love her!), among others.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Great story! I don’t remember this song from back then but have heard it sometimes in Texas and I do like it quite well. That’s so great that you got to meet him and how down to earth he was.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Perhaps so, but I think it was regionalized & seldom crossed over to mainstream radio, a few exceptions like Dolly P, John Denver & especially Kenny Rogers. I recall in the 90s some of the really big country tours didn’t hit Toronto, which was wild since only NYC and LA are bigger actual cities in ‘N.America’ and it’s probably the 6th biggest market .Conversely a lot of British alt or new wave acts sold out 3000 seat Massey Hall several nights running while playing small bars in Cleveland & Detroit. But I think Prairies were big country provinces.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I noticed when I post a country artist that most of the time it runs around the same as the US as far as chart position.

        Like

      1. That was cool you went to school with his son. I listened to I Believe in You again, but really tried to inclulcate the words. They certainly encapsulated how people of that age thought, which was so much poignaqnt and wise than what is currently espoused in music and society at large. I hope all is good with the world at your end Max.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is good! I’m taking this week off so I’m happy!
        Like Bruce said…the lyrics are not woke that is for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. For your information, I just completed writing my first article about a Beatles song. The first sentence may give you a clue about which it is: ‘I was approaching to writing this article like I had a warm gun held to my head’. Haha You could contextualize this song way better than I could ever do.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh I love that song! Lol. No you do that better than I… I know the facts about a song but I’m not great at interpreting them… that on especially.
        I do love the lyrics though…

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I was bored so I published this early lol on a Sunday of all days which is nearly unheard of in these parts lol I probably did the song exceptionally little service to Beatles fans, on the contrary.

        Like

  4. He seems rather atypical for a Country singer, especially one outside the Outlaw Country ones. Very inclusive lyrics- not going along the same lines as, say ‘Okie From Muskogee.’ And, yes, this was a decent hit down here. New Zealand does have liking- or should I say ‘hankering?’-for a bit of Country now and then.
    He sounds like a genuine good guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So very neat that Don Williams is an ordinary guy and that definitely comes across in his music. I love the wisdom in the lyrics of this song. I also love that bridge and the guitar flourishes in it. You’re right his voice isn’t over “country.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it Lisa…he was a true gentleman. Made me happy to say I was from Ashland City…a small Mayberry kinda town.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. lol… I was just surprised he was popular in other parts of the world. I didn’t know country’s appeal spread that far at that time.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As a sports fan, with the PGA Championship happening this weekend at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, both the Clapton and original versions of “Tulsa Time” featured prominently in music going to the commercial breaks. You can believe in that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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