The musical legacy of late Country Music Hall of Fame member Don Williams will be celebrated with a multimedia event this fall that brings together Keith Urban, The Nashville Symphony and former members of Williams’ band, Billboard has learned.
Set for three consecutive nights beginning Oct. 31, Don Williams: Music & Memories of the Gentle Giant will take over the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville, with the songs from his recording catalog enhanced by stories and visual elements. Urban will narrate the production.
“Don Williams and his music are strong threads in the tapestry of my life,” said Urban in a statement. “I jumped at the chance to play even a small role in this incredible concert experience. There is no better way to celebrate him and his legacy than reliving those musical moments, and I’m honored to be part of continuing to share his story and music.”
Williams died in 2017, leaving a chart trail of 45 top 10 singles on Hot Country Songs, including 17 that peaked at No. 1. Urban often has praised the “stomping” percussive treatment of Williams’ uptempo and midtempo releases, including the trademark “Tulsa Time” and “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good.” His ballads — such as “Good Ole Boys Like Me,” “I Believe in You” and “You’re My Best Friend” — seem well suited to orchestral enhancement.
“This style of show has never been done before in country music, and it’s very fitting that we present Don and his music to the fans in this way,” said Robert Pratt, Williams’ longtime manager. “Don was a very quiet and private person who loved performing for his legion of fans. I am especially happy to bring his music back to the fans and premiere this new show in Nashville with the symphony and then take it on the road throughout 2020.”
To honor the 80th anniversary of Williams’ birth, tickets will go on sale on his birthday, May 27, for 80 hours.
Band members returning for the event include guitarists Michael Noble and Steve Peavey, keyboardist Chris Nole, drummer John Garner and bassist Mark Johnson.
Other guests are likely to join the lineup at a later date.