Mentor Williams is an internationally-acclaimed songwriter and producer of Hit Records. He recently received an award from A.S.C.A.P. honoring his 30 year commitment to his craft and owns 17 writer awards. Mentor's compositions have earned dozens of gold and platinum awards for millions of sales by such outstanding artists as Dobie Gray & Rod Stewart, George Jones & Michael Bolton, Alabama & The Rolling Stones, Waylon Jennings & Ringo Starr, Randy Travis, Uncle Kracker and many more. Nashville has been his musical home for 35 years.
Mentor maintained an office at Almo-Irving in Los Angeles as staff writer in the late-60's. He produced for A&M, MCA, RSO and CBS, commuting constantly between L.A., Nashville and London. He worked at the Record Plant with Paul McCartney and Kenny Jones and at APPLE STUDIOS in London with Steeler's Wheel and Jerry Rafferty. He produced Kim Carnes, John Stewart, Paul Williams and Dobie Gray, among others. Mentor was post-production, re-mix engineer for "The Muppet Movie" which one a Grammy and an Academy Award and worked on "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's" soundtrack. But it was Nashville that one his soul.
The first door that opened in Nashville was Chet Atkins at RCA, who invited the young Williams in to listen to his songs. Further down Music Row, a chance meeting occurred, solidifying his musical career with a young man working on a porch pounding nails as Mentor stopped by to be sociable. The young man invited Mentor in and they ended up swapping songs and stories. The man was Troy Seals and the building was QUADRIPHONIC. They began a friendship and co-writing partnership that stands firm today. Mentor and Troy have written many wonderful songs together, including the Alabama smash hit "When We Make Love".
The wonderful musicianship of QUAD's pickers David Briggs, Reggie Young, Kenny Malone, Charlie McCoy and so many others, inspired Mentor to bring his Dobie Gray project to Nashville. The rest, as they say, is history. "DRIFT AWAY" became a Rock-n-Roll Anthem. The unique sound of "Drift Away" was a breath of fresh air for the pop charts and folks began to realize that Nashville's musical horizons were wide-open spaces. Nashville was no longer just Country. New York and L.A. paid attention and Almo-Irving opened a Music Row office with Mentor, Troy, and Will Jennings. That company is now Universal South.
"Drift Away" has been covered time and time again notably by Uncle Kracker in 2004 who wisely emulated Mentor's original production and utilized Dobie Gray's unmistakable voice. The record held the number-1 spot on Billboards AC charts for a record-setting 38 weeks. It remained in the Top 10 for 70 weeks.
Mentor built a beautiful home overlooking Taos, New Mexico, which he shares with long-time love Lynn Anderson. He travels to Nashville a dozen times a year to work with his co-writers and the unmatchable musicianship of "The Boys Who Make The Noise on 16th Avenue". He does numerous song-writing seminars and lectures at the college level in an attempt to help up-and-coming writers learn the craft of putting the words and music together.
Mentor finds inspiration for his music in the beauty of the New Mexico mountains while riding horses and guiding special-guests to the finest fly-fishing streams, competing in national cutting-horse events and from his brothers Paul Williams, president of ASCAP and Hall-of-Fame inductee and the late John Williams, a NASA rocket scientist.