Dolly Parton's "Jolene" and the Carpenters' "Rainy Days and Mondays" are some of the great hits the Williams twins are discovering

By Sue Carswell
June 29, 2020 01:07 PM
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Free music appreciation classes for all are being taught on YouTube by a set of 21-year-old twins in Gary, Indiana.

Titled "First Time Hearing: Twins the New Trend," the video series finds Tim and Fred Williams — who grew up listening to the likes of rapper Twista and Lil Wayne — giving their heartfelt thoughts about songs they admittedly might never have heard.

Among the artists they've been discovering are Freddie Mercury and Queen, Luther Vandross, Tom Jones, opera star Luciano Pavarotti and Aerosmith — but that's just the start.

“There’s more than just rap out there,” Fred tells PEOPLE. “There’s so much more than I ever thought.”

It was Tim who came up with the idea 10 months ago while Fred was away studying criminal justice at Indiana State University. His goal was to broaden the duo's music repertoire, which was largely focused on church music — songs that gave them "goosebumps" during their childhood.

The Williams twins
Courtesy Tim Twins

Music was an escape for some rocky years when family members struggled with drug addiction and their mom served time in prison. Today, Tim, and sometimes Fred, work with their mother, Tiffany King-Richardson, at Indiana’s Edgewater Health to help people dealing with substance abuse.

King-Richardson, 43, tells PEOPLE she's "so proud" of the boys for channeling their energy into rewarding things — something she's encouraged in the 11 years she's been out of prison and off drugs.

"From my own experiences, I’ve taught Tim and Fred how important it is to have a voice," she adds. "I want them to do something in life that they love, and that’s music."

The Williams twins with their mother, Tiffany King-Richardson
Courtesy Tim Twins

Of his new passion captured in the video series, Tim says, “We wanted to start a new trend to appreciate old music. We’re open to all genres. We also want to bring people together because there’s no color to music.”

Their makeshift studio is in Tim’s bedroom, where posters of Tupac, NBA player Derrick Rose and boxer Deontay Wilder are tacked to the wall. At about 2 p.m. every day, they sit in comfortable chairs they bought on eBay, in front of a made or sometimes unmade bed (“Heavens, I tell Tim to make his bed always!" their mom says), put their headsets on and then play hits spanning several decades. Over 92,000 YouTube subscribers tune in for the funny and binge-worthy moments recorded here, like their recent homage to “Jolene” by Dolly Parton.

As the song starts, Fred says, “Turn that boy up!”

After listening a little more, Tim says, “I loved that note. That was a banger.”

When the song ends, Tim calls the country classic, a plea to the other woman in a love triangle, a “good story,” while Fred adds, “Don’t take her man!”

The Williams twins in their early years
Courtesy Tim Twins

"My grandfather always used to say to me, 'Listen to Frank Sinatra,'" says Tim. "You’ve got to listen to it before you judge."

When he plays "I’ve Got You Under My Skin," viewers can see Tim instantly falling in love with Sinatra’s beat.

“Okay! Come on now," he says. "Hey, this is something I can vibe to. I wasn’t expecting this!”

Then there's the celebration of the Carpenters, the brother-sister pop duo who dominated radio waves in the '70s.

As “Rainy Days and Mondays” plays, Fred says, “Nobody likes Mondays!”

Adds Tim, “This is the kind of music you listen to at a barbecue!”

No one's more amused by their love for the Carpenters than mom King-Richardson, who laughs as she tells PEOPLE, "Now that was surprising!"