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

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"If Hollywood Don't Need You"

Williams had his 13th Number One hit with Bob McDill's "If Hollywood Don't Need You," released in 1982 as the third single from Listen to the Radio. It's a classic trope in country songwriting that persists even today: the narrator is pining over a woman who's ditched him for the bright lights of Tinseltown. He's feeling a bit stuck ("Things back here they never change at all," he admits) and unable to enjoy himself without her ("'Cause all that I can think about is you"), but Williams sings it with an air of calm, sad acceptance. He wishes her the best and leaves an offer on the table that he'll have her back if things don't pan out in California, asking her to shake Burt Reynolds' hand if she ever meets him – funny, considering Williams had his own Hollywood moment with Reynolds in 1980's Smokey and the Bandit II. J.F.

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