News / Arts & Entertainment

Remembering Andy Williams

FILE - This Feb. 23, 1978 file photo shows performer and host Andy Williams at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
FILE - This Feb. 23, 1978 file photo shows performer and host Andy Williams at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
Mary MorningstarDoug Levine
Singer Andy Williams died Tuesday September 25 at his home in Branson, Missouri after a long battle with bladder cancer.  He was 84 years old.  Williams, who marked his 75th anniversary in show business this year, was known for his smooth, baritone delivery of romantic love songs.  He was also a popular U.S. television star who hosted a highly-rated weekly variety show and annual Christmas TV specials.  

Williams debuted on the pop charts in April of 1956 and less than one year later scored his first Number One hit with "Butterfly." 

Born in Wall Lake, Iowa, Williams began his career at age eight when he teamed up with his three brothers on their own radio series in Des Moines, Iowa.  In the mid-1940s his family moved to Los Angeles, California, where the quartet continued to perform until the Korean War draft forced them to temporarily disband.  Following the war, the Williams Brothers teamed with comedienne Kay Thompson, and for the next five years, they sold out venues throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Andy Williams Appreciation
Andy Williams Appreciationi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

In 1953, the Williams Brothers broke up permanently, and a year later, Andy signed his first solo recording contract with Cadence Records.  His most successful years were spent with Columbia Records beginning in 1961.  Williams' own Emmy Award-winning television series ran on the NBC network from 1962 to 1971.  The show introduced many new acts such as the Osmond Brothers, who fondly remember the crooner for launching their careers.

"Andy's the one that started it for us," they said. "He was the whole beginning of it.  And what a voice!  We grew up together.  If there was anything stable in our lives, it was being on Andy's show and with him."

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Andy Williams popularized several songs from motion pictures.  Among them were his signature tune "Moon River" from "Breakfast At Tiffany's," as well as the themes to "Love Story," "Dear Heart," "The Godfather" and "Days Of Wine And Roses."  

Andy Williams recorded more than 800 songs in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German and Japanese.  His Christmas albums and compilations were among his bestselling recordings. 

Williams’ popularity continued long after his chart success faded.  In 1992, he opened the Andy Williams Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri where for years he performed six nights a week.  He once commented on his accomplishments and the changing trends in the music industry.

"I had my time selling millions of records and the record business is a very young business.  Most of it's sold, 90 percent of it, I think, is sold to kids between 10 and 20 [years old]," Williams said. "You're not expected to be 'hot' [popular] all the time."

Andy Williams was respected for his charity work, which raised money for the Children's Asthma Research Institute and Hospital and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation. 

In 2007, he released his final studio album, “I Don’t Remember Ever Growing Up.”  His autobiography, “Moon River and Me: A Memoir,” was published in 2009.

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
September 28, 2012 4:32 AM
I'm sad to hear that Andy has died. His soft and tender voice has been very popular also in Japan.Thanks for all his songs for ever.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

Singer Leyla McCalla takes up not only the guitar, but the banjo and cello to perform songs from her new disc, “A Tribute to Langston Hughes,” music that mixes the Creole rhythms of Haiti with the French Quarter flavor of New Orleans on this edition of "The Hamilton Live."