Andy Williams was my parents’ favorite singer. If you’re a Baby Boomer, he was probably your parents’ favorite singer as well, and you most likely grew up watching his Christmas specials every year, and maybe even his weekly variety show. He started out singing with his three brothers in the Williams Brothers Quartet, then went off as a solo act in the Fifties. In the early Sixties, he recorded “Moon River” (our first selection, from 1970), the theme from the movie Breakfast At Tiffany’s. It became a huge hit for him and ignited his career. He didn’t release many singles, but so many of his albums were successful that he didn’t need to. He was responsible for the initial success of the Osmond Brothers, frequent guests on his show. I remember, on his Christmas specials, that he would do popular Christmas music (songs such as “Sleigh Ride” and “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”), but would always reserve some of the show for singing traditional Christmas carols, such as the second selection, “O Holy Night.” I doubt that many Christmas programs on television today would do that. Come to think of it, there are so few Christmas specials these days anyway, and most of them are cartoons from when I was a kid.
We lost Andy Williams last week to bladder cancer. He was 84, and still performing at his Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri until shortly before his death. He leaves behind a great legacy of recorded music, and his calm, gentle voice will be missed.
Rest in peace, Andy Williams, your Two for Tuesday for October 2, 2012.