“Good Ole Boys Like Me”
Written by Bob McDill
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
May 16, 1980
Bob McDill’s ability to develop sharply drawn characters in his songs matches up perfectly with the sophistication of Don Williams as an interpreter of songs.
“Good Ole Boys Like Me” is so much more interesting and nuanced than your standard “I’m proud to be a country boy” anthems. It wrestles with the complicated legacy of the American south, and how we are a product of our roots no matter how far we travel away from them. The imperfections of our parents brush up against our powerful memories of the love and security that they provided.
Rejecting those imperfections without rejecting them is a difficult needle to thread, and “Good Ole Boys Like Me” doesn’t really attempt to do so. Its message is: this is who they were, so this is who I am. “I guess we’re all gonna be what we’re gonna be,” Williams sings. “So what do you do with good ole boys like me?”
The next Don Williams single is the biggest hit of his career and an undeniable classic in its own right. This one deserves the same consideration and accolades.
“Good Ole Boys Like Me” gets an A.
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