Crackerjack keyboardist Chris Nole captures the dynamics and subtleties of ‘Gentle Giant’ Don Williams

Late Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Don Williams’ final keyboardist Chris Nole covers his three-year tenure with the Gentle Giant in his most comprehensive interview ever. Weathered troubadour Williams sports his trademark Stetson on March 27, 2012 — “I believe in love, I believe in babies, I believe in mom and dad, and I believe in you.” Photography by David McClister
Chris Nole endearingly beams from his piano bench during opening night of the “John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert” mini Florida tour, on November 19, 2013, Florida Theatre, Jacksonville. Photography by Jeremy Roberts

The Chris Nole Interview

John Denver and keyboardist Chris Nole pose alongside Denver’s tour bus at the Harbor Lights Pavilion [renamed the Bank of America Pavilion] in Boston, circa September 9, 1995. The show was officially released in 2002 as “The Harbor Lights Concert.” Image courtesy of Chris Nole
“Get busy living or at least die trying:” Don Williams poses alongside his tour bus for the rear jacket of “And So It Goes,” the singer-songwriter’s 24th studio album released June 19, 2012 via Sugar Hill Records. Photography by David McClister
A fresh-faced, 33-year-old Don Williams opts for an everyman blue denim jacket on the cover of his debut album, “Don Williams, Volume One,” released June 1973 via JMI Records. Image Credit: Jack Clement Music
The Gentle Giant plucks a trusty electric Gibson guitar during his final concert held at Arlington Music Hall in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, October 21, 2015. Photography by Karen Walker
Released on August 2, 2016, presenting the cover of Chris Nole’s rollicking seventh studio album, ‘It Be What It Be.’ Inspired by such keyboard extraordinaires as Professor Longhair, Randy Newman, Ray Charles, Dr. John, Pinetop Perkins, and Johnnie Johnson [i.e. Chuck Berry], Nole also tackles lead vocals on the majority of cuts including the standout “Good for My Soul.” Photography by Rick Caballo / Courtesy of Chris Nole
L to R: Matt McKenzie [bass], Billy Sanford [guitar], Don Williams [rhythm guitar, lead vocals], Mike Noble [guitar], John Gardner [drums and percussion], and Chris Nole [keyboards backstage at the IP Casino and Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi, on January 17, 2015. Image courtesy of Chris Nole
Released on August 2, 2016, presenting the rear jacket of Chris Nole’s rollicking seventh studio album, “It Be What It Be.” Sublime for being cranked up on some good speakers, the record finds Nole paying homage to vintage blues, rock & roll, and New Orleans style piano and song. Image courtesy of Chris Nole

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email:

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