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50 Greatest City, State, And Town Songs – #16: “Tulsa Time” by Don Williams

April 18, 2008

The Best of Don Williams, Vol. 250 Greatest City, State, And Town Songs: #16

“Tulsa Time” by Don Williams

Album: “The Best of Don Williams, Vol.2”, “Expressions”

Chart Peak: #1

City, State, or Town: Tulsa, Oklahoma

One of country music’s greats in the 1970s would add to his career milestones not only another #1 hit, but a single of the year honor for his hit “Tulsa Time”. Williams became a country music icon with this song alone which throws a shout of to the town of Tulsa, a town that Don himself had never resided in having hailed from Memphis and Texas. However he did know a little bit about trying to make it in Hollywood and in music and how many people are mistaken in believing that they can leave home in an attempt to find a much more successful and prosperous lifestyle with little difficulty.

In this song Don becomes a man who has left his home in Tulsa believing that he can make it beg some where else. The first verse is primarily based off of the reactions that people have to his blind ambition. He decides to leave Oklahoma, in a Pontiac I may add, and head for maybe Arizona or California where he is aware that people live so much better. It is immediately revealed that the man in the song is unaware of the value and enjoyment that comes with living the 9 to 5 work days and those small town lifestyles. His mom and wife, among others, try to talk some sense into him but he ultimately lets his pride get to him and decides to skip out on learning anything through schooling or education convinced he is meant to walk that line.

The second verse reveals that he is a victim of his blind ambition and that everything he was warned about has come true. The movies have rejected him and his songs remain unsung, thus he is in the worst shape you could be in for a Hollywood hopeful. All this is revealed while he is on the phone with his loved ones back in Tulsa and he realizes that he should have never left in the first place and that no one would think less of him if he returned to Tulsa time. The significance of the chorus, and the name of the song, is that Tulsa, Oklahoma is on a different time zone as California or Arizona, the two places mentioned in the first verse. Thus the man in the song leaves that time zone but through the entirety of his departure he is still used to that time frame.

This #1 award winning hit for Don Williams has become a sentiment to the simple life in such small towns as Tulsa, Oklahoma. Many artists have done their takes on this hit and all have learned great respect for the understanding that Don had for it and the relevance that the lyrics have to the average every day American. Many people throughout the years believe that are meant for bigger and better things and let their heads get to them as they try to make it into the big time. However in the end it is not uncommon to realize that home is where you’re meant to be and that making it in Hollywood or even Nashville is not as easy as it looks.


Location in the state of Oklahoma

One Comment leave one →
  1. jay permalink
    April 18, 2008 10:04 pm

    I love this song

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