Don Williams: 10 Essential Songs

From "Tulsa Time" to "Good Ole Boys Like Me," the key tracks of the country vocalist, who died September 8th at 78

"I Believe in You"

"I Believe in You" was the biggest record of Williams' career – a country chart-topper and platinum album title track that went Top 10 Adult Contemporary and Number 24 pop. It was also explicitly, if subtly, political. The song, written by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin, lets Williams shake his head at a host of hard life transitions and American troubles – from getting old to religious fundamentalism to "the high cost of getting by." In opposition to all that nonsense, Williams avers that "I believe in love…I believe in you." That "you" typically gets heard as Williams' pledge of gratitude to a lover. But heard back in the immediate run up to Election Day 1980 (or, for that matter, heard today), "I Believe in You" feels far more expansive, as if the "you" Williams wants most to believe in is us. D.C.

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