The country singer died on Friday in Mobile, Ala. He was 78. He died of emphysema.
Donald Ray Williams was born the youngest of three sons on May 27, 1939, in Floydada, Texas. His parents were Loveta Mae (née Lambert; 1914-2007) and James Andrew “Jim” Williams (1898-1982). He grew up in Portland, Texas and graduated from Gregory-Portland High School in 1958. After Williams’ parents divorced, Loveta Williams remarried first to Chester Lang, and then to Robert Bevers.
His first single with ABC/Dot, “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me,” became a number one hit, and was the first of a string of top ten hits he had between 1974 and 1991. Only four of his 46 singles didn’t make it to the Top Ten.