Mentor Williams, who penned the award-winning Dobie Gray track “Drift Away,” has passed away. He was 70 years old.
Since the 1980s until her death last year, Williams was in a romantic relationship with country singer Lynn Anderson. Shortly after her passing, Anderson’s recording of Williams’ signature song (renamed “Drift Away Gospel”) was released as a way of honoring her memory. The song has also been covered by dozens of artists, including Waylon Jennings, Garth Brooks and Bruce Springsteen.
In his early career, Williams worked alongside Paul McCartney in The Record Plant, a famous New York Studio, and produced albums for many artists. He also worked alongside his brother, Paul Williams, who wrote hits for David Bowie, Three Dog Night and the Carpenters.
Aside from “Drift Away,” Williams found a hit with “A Few Ole Country Boys.” The track was recorded by George Jones and Randy Travis, who took the song to the Top 10 on the country charts in 1991.
He kept a low profile in recent years, devoting his time to life on his ranch in New Mexico. Funeral arrangements for Williams are currently pending.