Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Don Williams, “Stay Young”

“Stay Young”

Don Williams

Written by Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

January 27 – February 3, 1984


#1 (1 week)

February 4, 1984

Don Williams found “Stay Young” on an LP from seventies British duo Gallagher & Lyle, and he improves on the original recording quite a bit.

“Stay Young” works better with Williams at the mic because he was already a veteran artist, and he delivers the song’s message with the wisdom of a man who has seen a few years already:

Oh, don’t you lose that light in your eyesYou’re never too old to love, never too late to tryWhen somebody needs youGive ’em all you can giveWhen you’re livin’ to love and  lovin’ to live
Stay young, keep your wheels in motionYou’ve got everything that you needStay young with your rock n’ rollin’All the best things in life are free
That’s not to say that there’s a whole bunch of wisdom for Williams to deliver here.  The lyrics are trite and disconnected, as if Mad Libs had done a Hallmark Card edition and this was the best the players could come up with. 
But it sounds so much more profound than it is because Williams is the artist singing it.  That speaks volumes about his talent, but he’s got a dozen or so thoughtful hit records that are way better than this.
“Stay Young” gets a B-.    

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I just send up Conway Twitty and John Conlee, then there is Don Williams to celebrate.

    Mr. understated and rock-steady.

    This song has the some subtle percussive propulsion of “Tulsa Time.”

    The chorus genuinely kicks.

    I blame Garth Fundis for the greatness as much as I do Don Williams laconic gifts as a vocalist.

  2. Like this one a little more than you do but I see where you’re coming from. I’m a huge Don Williams fan so it’s hard for me not be biased. His music to me is like talking with a long lost friend or a friendly old man giving advice. Good song but not his best.

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