Don Williams is a legendary country music artist known for his smooth, mellow voice and timeless hits. One of his most iconic performances was on the long-running music television series Austin City Limits in 1983, where he performed his hit song “Tulsa Time.”
“Tulsa Time” was originally written by Danny Flowers and recorded by Eric Clapton in 1978. Don Williams covered the song three years later and it became a hit for him, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
The song’s lyrics tell the story of a man who wants to leave his current situation behind and move to Tulsa, where he can live life on his own terms. Williams sings, “I left Oklahoma drivin’ in a Pontiac / Just about to lose my mind / I was goin’ to Arizona, maybe on to California / Where the people all live so fine.”
As the song progresses, he talks about how he’s ready for a change and doesn’t want to waste any more time in his current situation. He sings, “Workin’ all the time, tryin’ to make a livin’ / And doin’ my best to get by / But it’s takin’ me nowhere / And I’m just dreamin’ of the day when I ride / On a Tulsa time.”
One of the most memorable moments of Williams’ performance of the song on Austin City Limits comes during the chorus, where he sings, “Livin’ on Tulsa time.” Here, he captures the sense of anticipation and excitement that comes with chasing our dreams, and the way that even small steps toward our goals can bring us a measure of joy and fulfillment.
Overall, “Tulsa Time” is a fun and upbeat tribute to the power of determination and the importance of living life on our own terms. With its catchy melody, relatable lyrics, and Don Williams’ distinctive voice, it’s no wonder that this song has become such an enduring classic in the world of country music.
Beyond its musical value, the song also carries a deep meaning about the importance of taking risks and pursuing our passions. It speaks to the power of human drive and the way that even when faced with challenges and obstacles, we can find the strength to keep moving forward toward the life we want. In this way, Don Williams’ performance of “Tulsa Time” on Austin City Limits is a testament to the enduring spirit of human optimism, and a reminder that no matter what challenges we may face, there is always a reason to keep singing and dancing along.