Advertisements

Inspiration Of A Television & Music Legend: Andy Williams

RIP Mr. Williams

By / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Andy Williams, one of the last crooners from the golden age of easy-listening pop music, died Tuesday at his home in Branson, Mo. He was 84.

Williams, who had been battling bladder cancer, had divided in time in recent years between La Quinta, Calif., and Branson, where he owned the Moon River Theater — named after the song that had been his signature since 1962.

Williams came across for six decades on concert stages and television shows as the ultimate Mr. Nice Guy, as well known for his warm, genial personal style as for his music.

He had only one major brush with tabloid celebrity, when his ex-wife, Claudine Longet, was charged in 1976 with accidentally killing her new boyfriend, skier Spider Sabich.

Williams, from whom Longet had been divorced a year earlier, escorted her to court, attended the trial and helped pay for her defense.

She was eventually sentenced to 30 days in jail and then married her attorney a few years later.

Williams married Debbie Meyer in 1991 and remained with her until his death.

WILLIAMS27N_2_WEB

ANONYMOUS/AP

American singer Andy Williams and his wife Claudine Longet, shown upon arrival at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, on Dec. 19, 1974 for the Royal Charity World premiere of “The Man With the Golden Gun.”

WILLIAMS27N_5_WEB

Andy Williams was as well known for his warm, genial personal style as for his music.

Williams had one of the most successful music-and-TV crossover careers of his generation.

He went solo as a recording artist in 1953 and started his TV career as a regular on the Steve Allen’s “Tonight Show” in 1954.

He hosted his own TV variety show from 1962 to 1971 along with popular holiday specials into the 1990s.

He recorded eight albums of Christmas music, tagging him with the affectionate nickname “Mr. Christmas.”

During the warmer months, he was in great demand for movie theme music. Beyond “Moon River,” he recorded themes as diverse as the dark “Days of Wine and Roses” and the saccharine “Where Do I Begin” from “Love Story.”

His association with “Moon River” began when composer Henry Mancini asked him to sing it at the 1962 Academy Awards. It won the Oscar and quickly became Williams’ most popular song — though it was never released as a single.

His only No. 1 radio hit was a cover version of Charlie Gracie’s 1957 rockabilly song “Butterfly,” but he kept his popularity with easy-listening fans for decades, racking up 18 gold and three platinum albums.

Reflecting his reputation as a mainstream concert artist, Williams sang the National Anthem at the 1973 Super Bowl. He also hosted seven Grammy Awards shows, from 1971 to 1977.

He was politically active, and while he described himself as a “lifelong Republican,” he campaigned in 1968 for his friend Robert F. Kennedy. He sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at Kennedy’s funeral that year.

WILLIAMS27N_4_WEB

Williams hosted his own TV variety show from 1962 to 1971, along with popular holiday specials in to the 1990s.

WILLIAMS27N_1_WEB

ANONYMOUS/AP

Andy Williams performs a song on a television show on May 12, 1961. Emmy-winning TV host and “Moon River” crooner Williams died Tuesday night, Sept, 25, 2012 at his home in Branson, Mo., following a year-long battle with bladder cancer.

In 1972, he campaigned for George McGovern, and when the Nixon administration tried to deport John Lennon, Williams became an outspoken defender of Lennon’s right to stay in the U.S. In later years, he criticized Barack Obama for taking the country “too far left.”

Born in Wall Lake, Iowa, Williams began singing in the Presbyterian church choir and joined his three siblings in the Williams Brothers quartet.

They sang on radio programs in the Midwest and backed Bing Crosby on his 1944 hit “Swingin’ on a Star.” They also appeared in several movies.

Williams went solo in 1953 and had his first hit with “Canadian Sunset” in 1956.

He was also a shrewd businessman. He eventually acquired the masters to all the music from his first label, Cadence, where his colleagues included the Everly Brothers and the Chordettes.

He launched his own label, Barnaby Records, which had hits with Ray Stevens and released the first album of a then-unknown singer named Jimmy Buffett. Earlier, on his TV show, he had introduced the Osmond family.

He opened the Moon River Theater with his brother Don in 1992. It was the first Branson theater not directly tied to country music, and paved the way for a broader range of artists to start playing in Branson.

He was also a major golf fan, hosting a PGA tournament in San Diego from 1968 to 1988.

He is survived by Meyer and three children from his first marriage, Robert, Noelle and Christian.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/andy-williams-dead-84-moon-river-crooner-loses-battle-bladder-cancer-article-1.1168594#ixzz27bjUTRsW

Advertisements

Comments

  1. icittadiniprimaditutto says:

    Reblogged this on i cittadini prima di tutto.

  2. I loved his variety shows! Will certainly miss him!

  3. He was talented, but his political leanings kinda made me throw up in my mouth a little. Calling Obama a “Kenyan Marxist” then being an ass about when told otherwise tainted his image for me.
    But, “Moon River” is a classic tune.

  4. 😦 … Ohh my. So not good. 😦
    let me share this posting

  5. He was a brilliant singer with briliant songs. Far better than most of the over-hyped singers we have today.

  6. He was one of my favorites.

  7. Very lovely post…i can remember watching his shows and he would always end it i think with ‘Moon River’ Very nice tribute, thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: