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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

With over five million records sold worldwide, singer-songwriter MIKA is best known for his hit single “Grace Kelly.” MIKA joins "Border Crossings" to perform live and to talk with host Larry London about his latest CD “The Origin Of Love.”

Blogs