‘Drift Away’ Songwriter Mentor Williams Dies
Songwriter Mentor Williams, best known for the classic hit "Drift Away," has passed away.
Taos News reports that Williams died at 6:15AM on Wednesday morning (Nov. 16). No cause of death has been revealed.
Born in 1946, Williams scored his biggest hit with "Drift Away," which Dobie Gray took to No. 5 in 1973. Williams wrote the song and produced the record, which was certified Gold. Uncle Kracker re-cut the song with Gray in 2003, when it became a No. 1 hit.
His resume also featured a long list of other credits, beginning with a stint as a staff songwriter at Almo-Irving in Los Angeles in the late 1960s. He also worked as a producer for A&M, MCA, RSO and Columbia Records, traveling between Los Angeles and London to produce a wide variety of other acts.
In the country genre, Williams wrote songs for Alabama (“When We Make Love”), Randy Travis and George Jones (“A Few Ole Country Boys”) and Eddy Raven (“She’s Gonna Win Your Heart”). He also produced various works for Kim Carnes, John Stewart and his brother, songwriter and actor Paul Williams (with whom he is pictured above), as well as serving as a post-production remix engineer on The Muppet Movie and working on the soundtrack to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
According to Taos News, Williams received an award from ASCAP to commemorate his 30 years of songwriting, and earned 17 writing awards over the course of his career. He was a longtime resident of Taos, N.M., where he lived with his girlfriend, country star Lynn Anderson. The two were in a relationship from the 1980s until her death in 2015.
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