Photography: Absolute Publicity

The Quiet Crooner passed away Friday at age 78.

Sad news for country music fans: Don Williams, the Country Music Hall of Famer whose chart-topping hits included “Tulsa Time,” “I Believe in You” and “You’re My Best Friend,” passed away Friday at age 78 in Mobile, Alabama.

Many of his Nashville friends and colleagues quickly took to the Internet to pay their respects to the beloved singer known as The Gentle Giant and The Quiet Crooner.

Ray Stevens: “Don Williams was a true balladeer and he will be greatly missed.”

Ricky Skaggs: “I was saddened to hear of Don Williams' passing today.  His simple music, gentle voice, and beautiful songs will live on forever.  Rest In Peace Gentle Giant.”

Larry Gatlin: “Every time, repeat, every time we did a show with ‘The Quiet Crooner’ Don Williams, I stood in the wings and listened to his show. He was not just a GREAT singer, he was a song stylist and true artist. And, most importantly, he was a very nice man.”

Pam Tillis: “One of my favorite voices ever. Period. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. Go see these national treasures while you can. We don’t get to keep them forever. God, I loved Don Williams. So sad.”

Doug Gray of The Marshall Tucker Band: “The world has lost one of the smoothest voices in the history of country music. May the Gentle Giant Rest in Peace.”

Sammy Kershaw: “Talk about legends?  His music was pure. We will miss Don Williams doing more pure music. God Bless him.”

Dave Innis of Restless Heart: “It’s a sad day in country music, as we mourn the loss of Don Williams, 'The Gentle Giant' whose unique songwriting and easy-going singing style was loved by millions around the world and revered by Nashville’s music industry. All of us in Restless Heart send our deepest regrets to Don’s family and friends. We’ve lost one of the truly great ones.”

Aaron Tippin: “Don Williams... what a voice. He was most certainly one of the biggest influences on my songwriting. He was the Gentle Giant and a Country Giant.”

John Berry: “It’s a painstakingly sad day when the world loses a voice like Don Williams.  Lifting up in prayer the family, friends, team members, band and fans of the Gentle Giant.”

Here is a music video showcasing Don Williams in a performance of “Tulsa Time.”

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