Andy Williams
Singer, songwriter, record producer
Andy Williams
Howard Andrew "Andy" Williams is an American singer who has recorded eighteen Gold- and three Platinum-certified albums. He hosted The Andy Williams Show, a TV variety show, from 1962 to 1971, as well as numerous television specials, and owns the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri named after the song "Moon River", with which he is closely identified.
Andy Williams's personal information overview.
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News abour Andy Williams from around the web
If Arts Patrons Acted Like Football Fans
Huffington Post - about 1 year
I listened to the growls, shouts and exasperated complaints coming from the menfolk watching an NFL football game, so I waited for a commercial break, strolled into the room, and quietly suggested we watch a musical instead. They grabbed the remote control and glared at me like angry toddlers. "We're having fun!" they exclaimed. I backed out of the room, properly chastised. They already knew it would be inappropriate and useless to ask me to return with beer and sandwiches. I retreated to my office and closed the door as they hollered about the referee's questionable ancestry. Their boisterous, emotional investment in the game inspired me to create the following blog post. What if patrons of musical and artistic productions expressed the same emotions as sports fans? I can imagine the philharmonic orchestra warming up before the classical performance of Rossini's William Tell Overture. The concertmaster enters, expecting polite applause, but the audience whistles, cheers, ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
David, Johnny, Joe, Brian and Bjork
Huffington Post - about 1 year
What inspires us? "Is there anybody going to listen to my story?" sang Joe Jackson when he visited Chicago this past month. An extraordinary composer and connoisseur of popular music, Mr. Jackson sat at the piano covering John Lennon's Girl, reminding us what every artist faces: will anyone hear them? Singing the song with a solo stride piano accompaniment, Mr. Jackson's rendition of that first line was a reminder that a great opening song lyric feels eternal. The melody can be song by anyone always. Bjork's melodies cannot easily be sung by anyone else, as I was reminded last spring when I saw her exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. In the exhibition she offers her lyric notebooks, but nothing about these spare, handwritten words prepares one for Bjork's melodies. The words don't seem to have poetic potential until Bjork sets them aflame in Hyperballad: "I'm back at my cliff/still throwing things off/I listen to the sounds they make/on their way down/I follow with my e ...
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Huffington Post article
Auditions And The Unknown Ingredient
The Huffington Post - over 1 year
I haven't auditioned in over 70 years, so doing an audition at this time in my life is not exactly the norm. Doing a simple audition with sides (that's a scene or scenes in a movie, TV show or commercial) is one thing, but performing as a "yenta" a gossipy Jewish lady with a heavy Yiddish accent is entirely another venue. Not entirely impossible, just challenging to say the least. I auditioned for the first time at age 18 for a Broadway show "Pretty Penny." Michael Kidd was the choreographer and George Kaufman was the director. Within the dance group there were maybe eight girls and eight boy dancers. Two became famous -- Peter Gennaro, who was hearing impaired and practiced with headphones, and Onna White, who became a successful choreographer and director. It was one of those shows that never made it to Broadway, but for all of us dancers, it was an introduction to The Great White Way. Seventy-two years later here in Tinsel Town, L.A., the movie capital of the world, I am makin ...
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The Huffington Post article
An Evening With Donny & Marie at The Flamingo in Las Vegas
Huffington Post - over 2 years
Recently, I worked a flight to Las Vegas. This was the perfect opportunity to catch a show during my 18-hour layover. Prior to my trip, I checked out headliners appearing on the Strip, and Donny and Marie's show at the renowned Flamingo Hotel jumped out at me. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching the multi-talented and multi-faceted brother and sister act on TV. I figured, it would be fun seeing the former bubblegum pop idols, especially after reading that the highly popular show was voted "The Best Show in Vegas" by the readers of the Las Vegas-Review Journal for three years running. I had a spare ticket, so en route to Vegas I asked another flight attendant working the flight with me if she'd like to see Donny and Marie. It turned out that her name was also Marie, and without hesitation she accepted the invitation. We arranged to meet outside of the iconic showroom which was recently renamed Donny and Marie. The venue is intimate and you're pretty much guaranteed a good view ...
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Huffington Post article
5 Worst Super Bowl Halftime Shows Ever
The Street - about 3 years
PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- If you're a U.S. television viewer 22 or younger, you've never known a low-budget Super Bowl halftime show. That hasn't always been a good thing. Before 1992, the Super Bowl halftime show was exactly that: A little show put on to fill the time between the game's halves. Until 1990, that show usually consisted of marching bands, pre-Glee chorus groups and the occasional tune from Carole Channing, George Burns, Andy Williams and other notables from yesteryear. It was inoffensive, it was mildly entertaining and typically didn't get a whole lot of lip service at the water cooler the next day. That all changed after Super Bowl XXVI in 1992. A company called Timberline Productions decided to celebrate the host city of Minneapolis and the Olympic year by saddling CBS with a halftime show featuring a figure skating performance from Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill and exactly two songs from easy-listening powerhouse Gloria Estefan. Keep in mind that figure skat ...
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The Street article
Finally, some common sense on abortion
Canadian Christianity - about 3 years
It’s been 50 years since Andy Williams recorded the Christmas hit, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” And, as Canadians get set to key it up once again,they should know that they received an early Christmas gift last week — a healthy dose of common sense from one of our elected representatives. In what seems to be a pattern of independent thinking from members of Parliament, Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott has filed two motions in advance of his name being added to the Order of Precedence at the end of January. The member from Saskatoon-Wanuskewin has responded to the continuing call from the Canadian people to properly deal with the issue of pre-born human rights. The motions Mr. Vellacott placed on the Order Paper echo a refrain heard in pro-life circles of late — first, that the Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly and emphatically told us that Parliament should address legal protections for the pre-born child and second, that Canada is violating the United Nation ...
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Canadian Christianity article
Don We Never Our Hideous Apparel
Huffington Post - over 3 years
My kids' Halloween candy had barely gone stale before the first Christmas controversy roared into town, innocently enough in the form of a Hallmark ornament. The greeting card giant, you may have heard, received flak for trying to be tooooo politically correct, hence its idea to change the lyrics of a certain Christmas carol before slapping it on ornaments shaped like holiday sweaters. The line in question? "Don we now our gay apparel," from Deck the Halls, a carol that has been sung on front porches and at elementary school pageants and retirement home programs since the 1800s. Thinking the word "gay" might offend a portion of customers looking to purchase Hallmark's sweater ornament, the company changed "gay" to "fun." To Hallmark's surprise, nobody cared about the gay reference; quite the contrary. Many ranted on social media sites that Hallmark acted a bit audaciously by changing the lyrics without consulting anyone, although I'm not sure whom they would ask. Attention. This me ...
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Huffington Post article
HS2 rail project will provide £15bn boost, transport minister claims
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
Patrick McLoughlin to make speech in Birmingham where there has been a mixed reaction to the high-speed link Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary, will on Wednesday make the economic case for the HS2 rail project by insisting that the high-speed link will give an annual £15bn boost to the economy, with the north and Midlands gaining at least double the benefit gained by the south. In a speech in Birmingham, McLoughlin is planning to depict HS2 as a "heart bypass" for congested train lines and roads, claiming that speed will be a secondary concern, though the link will reportedly reduce the train journey between London and Birmingham to just 45 minutes. "Speed is not the main reason for building the new railway. The main reason we need HS2 is as a heart bypass for the clogged arteries of our transport system," McLoughlin will say. There was mixed reaction in Birmingham, one of the cities most affected, to the government's insistence that it would ease busy train lines. Whil ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Liz Smith: Will Oprah 'Save' Lindsay? Is Red 2 Red Hot?
Huffington Post - over 3 years
"THE MIND is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled," said Plutarch, on the subject of mentoring the young. Well, the mind of Lindsay Lohan has, in recent years, seemed an all but empty vessel and/or a patch of land that is so unhappily damp it can't be fired up. But now that Oprah has stepped into the picture, even Lindsay's mother, the much criticized Dina Lohan, says this is a "fantastic" turn of events. During a Hollywood luncheon she attended at The European Wax Center. (You say it, I can't!), Dina burbled that "If anyone is going to help mentor you, it's going to be Oprah." Oprah will not only "mentor" Lindsay, but Winfrey's OWN Network will air an eight-episode "reality series" about Lindsay's expected struggles to stay on the straight and narrow. (Even though LL has insisted she never needed rehab and doesn't have any substance abuse issues.) Dina herself, who has never met a camera she hid from, will probably appear on the show, too. ("It's ...
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Huffington Post article
MCDermott’s laying foundations for healthy future at Leeds United
Yorkshire Evening Post - over 3 years
Ady Williams’ impression of Brian McDermott at Reading was of a man who liked building foundations.
Article Link:
Yorkshire Evening Post article
7 Injured In Missouri Highway Collapse
Huffington Post - over 3 years
CHAFFEE, Mo. -- A Missouri highway overpass that partially collapsed when rail cars smashed into one of its support pillars after a cargo train collision was about 15 years old and in good condition but just couldn't withstand the impact, a sheriff said. Seven people in two cars on the overpass were injured, none seriously, when two 40-foot sections of the overpass crumpled early Saturday. "You're driving down the road and the next thing you know the bridge is not there. ... It could have been really bad," Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter said. He said the bridge, though in good condition, couldn't withstand the impact of the rail cars. The collapse occurred after a Union Pacific train struck the side of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train at a rail intersection, Walter said. Derailed rail cars then struck columns supporting the Highway M overpass, causing it to buckle and partially collapse. The derailed rail cars were loaded with scrap metal, automobiles ...
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Huffington Post article
Missouri highway buckles after rail cars hit overpass
Fox News - over 3 years
A highway overpass in southeast Missouri collapsed early Saturday when rail cars slammed into one of the bridge's pillars after a cargo train collision, authorities said. Seven people were injured, though none seriously. The bridge collapsed after a Union Pacific train hit the side of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train at a rail intersection. Derailed rail cars then hit columns supporting the Highway M overpass, causing it to buckle and partially collapse. The National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the cause of the cargo train collision, which happened about 2:30 a.m. near Chaffee, a town of about 3,000 southwest of Cape Girardeau. Only two vehicles were on the overpass at the time. Five people in the vehicles were taken to Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, as were a Union Pacific train conductor and an engineer. All seven had been released by Saturday afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Felecia Blanton said. "You're driving down the ...
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Fox News article
Miles O'Brien: Sins of the Sons
The Huffington Post - almost 4 years
It's a parent's nightmare. Your child's school has been the scene of a mass shooting. But what if your child was the shooter? Miles O'Brien meets the father of a rampage killer and a mother who worries her son might one day become one. I knew something was amiss when I was on a Skype call with my longtime television production partner Kate Tobin as I was thrashing through the final stages of editing of "Mind of a Rampage Killer." She seemed rather grumpy, and so I naturally assumed I had done something to offend. But when I asked her about it, she confessed she found the subject matter "very disturbing." "It has worked my nerves," said she. It was a good reminder. In my line of work, there are times when you need to put your feelings aside in order to get enough perspective and objectivity to tell a tough story. And I have been so deeply enmeshed in this unhappy subject for so long, with no break, that I have grown some emotional calluses. "Mind of a Rampage Kill ...
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The Huffington Post article
Mark Anthony Neal: Reflections: The Supremes and the Politics of Image
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
The meteoric rise of The Supremes in the 1960s can be best measured in the context of singular tragic events in American history: When President John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas in November of 1963, few knew who The Supremes were, yet when Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis in April of 1968, Diana Ross and the Supremes appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to help bring sense to the tragedy. That many of the front-line Civil Rights activists like Bob Moses, Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael and the Greensboro Four -- Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr., and David Richmond -- were barely out of high school, like The Supremes, is a reminder of how these young folk literally changed the world. While no one will ever mistake the Freedom Summer of 1964 for a groundbreaking appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Supremes and Motown were waging a battle on behalf of African-Americans within the realm of image making. The success of the Sup ...
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Huffington Post article
Lulu: Influencers and Inspirations: The Artists That Made Me Fall in Love With Music
Huffington Post - about 4 years
I've been on a trip down musical memory lane over the last few weeks, while rehearsing for an upcoming gig at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City -- which if you can believe, after almost 50 years in music, will be my first live NYC concert. I am all about going back to my roots, singing the songs that I love most and paying tribute to some of my favourite artists. And in every song that I sing, there's a little piece of the influencers and inspirations that I encountered on my musical journey. I grew up in a home filled with music. My father was always singing at the top of his lungs, and from the time I was a baby, he'd sing to me. His singing resonated so deeply in me, that practically before I could talk I was singing in tune. He had such a good voice but where I come from, everybody could sing! We were working-class and music was at our core. We'd gather with family and friends and neighbors and everyone would share a drink and a song. I can remember at three-year ...
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Huffington Post article
Pop Icon Marries Art
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Argentine pop icon Marta Minujin made her decades-long love affair with conceptual art official when instead of hosting a traditional 70th birthday party, she staged a wedding. Who was the groom? Art, of course. The "Andy Warhol" of Buenos Aires donned a white dress, tossed a bouquet, and toasted above a giant pink cake at the MALBA museum, joining in matrimony with the profession that made her famous, for all 300 of her wedding guests to see. Minujin, famous for recreating the Buenos Aires obelisk in fruit cake, planned the birthday/wedding to raise money for the museum's educational programs, so there's no need to compare her stunt to the Art Guys who are now happily married to a plant. In fact, what is far more outrageous than Minujin's unconventional espousal is the art darling's plans for her death. She wants to craft a large, multi-colored acrylic box in which she will sit, surrounded by her artwork, before injecting a lethal substance and setting the box on fire. She ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Michael Sigman: NRA List: With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Guns?
Huffington Post - about 4 years
The NRA enemies list posted here has become a hot media topic as the organization and its executive director Wayne LaPierre leap from self-parody into the realm of the truly demented. The right-wing Murdoch-owned New York Post called LaPierre a "loon" on its front page after one of his rants; the centrist Daily News went with "The Craziest Man On Earth"; and last week LaPierre argued against background checks for gun owners on the nonsensical grounds that criminals wouldn't submit to them. The NRA list, of course, harkens back to Richard Nixon's notorious enemies list, which targeted journalists, entertainers, academics and other citizens who opposed an administration that would soon be devoured by scandal. Indeed, many on the list considered it a badge of honor. Journalist Daniel Schorr said his inclusion, which he discovered only when he was reading the list aloud on CBS-TV News, was his proudest achievement. At first glance, the NRA lineup may seem strangely goofy, bu ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Beyonce's Halftime Show
Huffington Post - about 4 years
For some, Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show was to be the Big Game's finest moment. But for all who tuned in to see the singer perform, it's clear she brought her A game. Beyonce worked through a medley of her hits, including "Love on Top," "Crazy in Love," "End of Time," and "Baby Boy" before she was joined by Destiny's Child bandmates Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. The trio started with "Bootylicious" and worked through "Independent Woman" before collaborating on "Single Ladies," which is a Beyonce song. Rowland and Williams then left the stage, leaving Beyonce to perform "Halo" solo. The show featured plenty of fire, ice and smoke, with Beyonce appearing on a rising platform. She was clad in an all-black ensemble with heels and a leather-like get-up. Early in the set, she threw her jacket into the audience. At some point, she used a screen that recalled her 2011 Billboard Music Awards performance. Before the game started, Jennifer Hudson and a chorus of ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
TV these days is really rockin'
LATimes - about 4 years
Television has been many things through the years, but rarely has it been cool. Until now. Big names want to work there, and programs are varied and exciting. Television has been a lot of things in its 60-some-year life, but one thing it was not, until this century, with certain rule-proving exceptions, was cool. It was the home of "Father Knows Best" and "The Andy Williams Show," "Dynasty" and "The Dukes of Hazzard" — something for the whole family to enjoy, when three broadcast networks ruled the nation and competed for viewers of all ages.
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LATimes article
Pedro L. Rodriguez: Holiday Stress Hits Social Media
Huffington Post - about 4 years
"It's the most wonderful time of the year," croons Andy Williams. During this purported wondrous time we slip into cocktail attire, cheerful smiles and gift with abandonment, hoping to meet or exceed nebulous expectations of seasonal happiness. Well, Christmas is over. My waistline has inched further from my core muscles and I sit in solitude, by choice. Ho, ho, ho. If, like me, you've taken a moment to sit and reflect on the strength of your relationships during this time of year you might agree that there isn't enough time before New Year's to immerse yourself in transcendental meditation to ease the angst that courses through you. Tweeters were concerned with whether a Michael Kors watch or bag made "classy" or déclassé gifts. Facebook-ers shared family-related anecdotes of the uncle enamored with whiskey, the mother busily nagging and other Holiday favorites under enough privacy settings to keep those blood relations intact -- I hope. Has the ability to sociall ...
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Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Andy Williams
  • 2012
    Age 84
    On September 25, 2012, Williams died of bladder cancer at the age of 84 at his home in Branson, Missouri.
    More Details Hide Details Williams was cremated. His ashes were sprinkled into the artificial waterway at his theater in Branson. The memorial service for Williams was held a month later. The Andy Williams Show won three Emmy Awards in 1963, 1966, and 1967 for Outstanding Variety Series. Andy Williams also earned six Grammy nominations: Notes Sources
  • 2011
    Age 83
    In a surprise appearance at his theater in November 2011, Williams announced that he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer.
    More Details Hide Details After chemotherapy treatment in Houston, Texas, he and his wife moved to a rented home in Malibu, California in order to be closer to cancer specialists in the Los Angeles area.
  • 2009
    Age 81
    Williams was a guest on the Glenn Beck Radio Program in December 2009, introduced by his own 1960s recording of "Little Altar Boy". Williams met French-born Claudine Longet when he came to her aid on a Las Vegas road. She was a dancer at the time at the Folies Bergère. They married on December 15, 1961.
    More Details Hide Details Over the next eight years they had three children Noelle, Christian, and Robert.
    Williams later said that despite his friendship with the Democratic Kennedys, he was a lifelong Republican. In 2009, he was quoted by The Daily Telegraph as accusing President Barack Obama of "following Marxist theory" and "wanting the country to fail".
    More Details Hide Details Williams gave Rush Limbaugh permission to use his recording of the song "Born Free" as the theme to the "Animal Rights Update" on Limbaugh's radio show—in which a portion of the song was then followed by gunfire—saying "Hey, it's fine with me. I love what you're doing with it." The record company later blocked Limbaugh's use of the recording.
    On October 3, 2009, Williams appeared live on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing in London, singing "Moon River" to promote the UK edition of The Very Best of Andy Williams LP, which peaked at No. 10 in the main pop chart.
    More Details Hide Details In 1964, Williams ultimately became the owner of the Cadence master tapes, which he occasionally licensed to Columbia, including not only his own recordings, but also those of his fellow Cadence-era labelmates: The Everly Brothers, Lenny Welch, The Chordettes, and Johnny Tillotson. In 1968, although he was still under contract with Columbia for his own recordings, Williams formed a separate company called Barnaby Records to handle not only reissuing of the Cadence material, especially that of the Everly Brothers (one of the first Barnaby LPs was a double LP set of the Brothers' long out of print Cadence hits) but also new artists. Barnaby also had several Top 40 hits in the 1970s with novelty artist Ray Stevens (who had done a summer replacement show for Williams in 1970), including number-one hits such as "Everything Is Beautiful" in 1970 and "The Streak" in 1974.
  • 2008
    Age 80
    In 2008 he lip-synched the 45-year-old recording to welcome Santa at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
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  • 2007
    Age 79
    He completed a sold-out tour of the United Kingdom and Asia in the winter and summer of 2007, in which he performed at several major concert halls including the Royal Albert Hall, singing, among other classics, Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately".
    More Details Hide Details Williams returned to the UK singles charts with his 1963 recording of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" in December 2007, thanks to an advertisement for Marks & Spencer, reaching No. 21 in its first appearance in the British charts, also reaching No. 108 on the EU Top 200.
  • 2002
    Age 74
    In 2002, he re-recorded "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" as a duet with British actress and singer Denise van Outen; it reached No. 23 in the UK singles charts.
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  • 1997
    Age 69
    Williams was a noted collector of Navajo blankets. His collection had hung in his home, his offices, and the Moon River Theater, and was exhibited at the Saint Louis Art Museum in 1997–1998.
    More Details Hide Details Williams collection was valued at over $1 million by Sotheby's, who were due to sell the collection in May 2013. The sale on May 21, 2013 yielded $978,506 (£642,064). Exch Rate: .66.
  • 1995
    Age 67
    In 1995, We Need a Little Christmas became Williams's 18th Gold Album.
    More Details Hide Details His 1967 recording of "Music to Watch Girls By" became a big UK hit to a new young television audience in 1999, when it reached No. 9 after being featured in new television advertisements for the Fiat Punto—and later for Diet Pepsi—beating the original peak of No. 33 in 1967. A new generation was reminded of Williams' recordings and a sell-out UK tour followed the success of the single, prompting a British Revival for Williams.
  • 1992
    Age 64
    This led Williams to build his own theatre in Branson in time for the 1992 season, eventually opening on May 1, 1992 as the Moon River Theatre.
    More Details Hide Details The name came from his signature song. It went on to become the first theatre ever to be featured in Architectural Digest, and also won the 1992 Conservation Award from the State of Missouri. The theatre was designed to blend with the rough terrain of the Ozark Mountains. He had originally planned a marble style theatre reminiscent of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, but soon had a change of mind. The Larson Company of Tucson, Arizona, fabricated a section of rock on Missouri's Highway 76 and the theatre was soon engulfed with waterfalls, koi-filled ponds, ferns and trees native to the Ozarks. The inside of the theatre incorporates the outside. Trees and plants are seen throughout the theatre's three lobbies. Oak floors are accompanied by African ribbon-striped mahogany walls that are filled with pictures of the Andy Williams Television Show. Williams' passion for art can be seen throughout as well. From the start of his career, Williams had accumulated several paintings and sculptures and decided to fill his theatre with his collection. Frankenthaler, Diebenkorn, Oldenburg, Pollock, Klee and Moore are a small list of artists whose work is on display at the Moon River Theatre.
  • 1991
    Age 63
    In June 1991, Williams' brother Don invited him to the small Ozarks town of Branson, Missouri.
    More Details Hide Details Don Williams at the time was the manager for entertainer Ray Stevens, who had just opened a theatre in Branson. While attending Stevens' show, Williams was encouraged by numerous Branson guests to open a venue in the town.
    On May 3, 1991, Williams married Debbie Meyer, whom he met through a mutual friend.
    More Details Hide Details They made their homes at Branson, Missouri and La Quinta, California, where he was known as the "honorary mayor". Williams was a noted collector of modern art and his homes have been featured in Architectural Digest. Williams' birthplace in Iowa is a tourist attraction and is open most of the year. Williams was an avid golfer and hosted the PGA Tour golf tournament in San Diego from 1968–88 at Torrey Pines. Then known as the "Andy Williams San Diego Open", the tournament continues as the Farmers Insurance Open, usually played in February. He was also a competent ice skater, and occasionally skated as part of his television Christmas shows.
  • 1975
    Age 47
    After a lengthy separation, Williams and Longet divorced in 1975.
    More Details Hide Details In March 1976, Longet was charged with fatally shooting her boyfriend, alpine ski racer Spider Sabich, in Aspen. Williams played a public role in the subsequent events, escorting her to and from the courtroom, testifying to her character at the trial and providing legal assistance. Longet claimed the shooting was accidental, and eventually received 30 days in jail. From the team's induction in 1968 until 1987, Andy Williams also had partial ownership of the Phoenix Suns, a National Basketball Association team.
  • 1973
    Age 45
    Williams sang the national anthem at Super Bowl VII in 1973 with Little Angels of Holy Angels Church in Chicago, Illinois.
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    Williams is included in the montage of caricatures on the cover of Ringo Starr's 1973 album, Ringo.
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  • 1972
    Age 44
    He also raised funds for George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, performing at benefit concerts.
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  • 1971
    Age 43
    Williams hosted the most Grammy telecasts—seven consecutive shows—from the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971 through to the 19th Awards in 1977.
    More Details Hide Details He returned to television with a syndicated half-hour series in 1976–77. In the early 1970s, when the Nixon Administration attempted to deport John Lennon, Williams was an outspoken defender of the former Beatle's right to stay in the United States.
    He gave up the variety show in 1971 while it was still popular, continuing with three specials per year.
    More Details Hide Details His Christmas specials, which appeared regularly until 1974 and intermittently from 1982 into the 1990s, were among the most popular of the genre. Williams recorded eight Christmas albums over the years and was known as "Mr. Christmas", due to his perennial Christmas specials and the success of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".
  • 1970
    Age 42
    Williams also competed in the teenage-oriented singles market and had several charting hits including "Can't Get Used to Losing You", "Happy Heart", and "Where Do I Begin", the theme song from the 1970 blockbuster film, Love Story.
    More Details Hide Details In addition, Williams hit the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart with "Almost There" (1964), "Can't Help Falling In Love" (1970), "Home Lovin' Man" (1970) and "Solitaire" (1973). Both Williams and Petula Clark recorded "Happy Heart" around the same time, just prior to his guest appearance on her second NBC-TV special. Unaware that she was releasing the song as a single, he asked to perform it on the show. The exposure ultimately led to his having the bigger hit with the song. The song "Happy Heart" was used for the final scene and end credits of Danny Boyle's award-winning directorial debut film Shallow Grave (1994). Building on his experience with Allen and some short-term variety shows in the 1950s, he became the star of his own weekly television variety show in the fall of 1962. Though canceled after 1963 due to low ratings, the show was then sponsored to make 12 weekly specials in the 1963-1964 season. This series, The Andy Williams Show, won three Emmy Awards for outstanding variety program. Among his series regulars were the Osmond Brothers.
  • 1968
    Age 40
    Williams was close friends with Robert F. Kennedy and his wife, Ethel Kennedy, and campaigned in 1968 for Kennedy in the Democratic presidential primary races.
    More Details Hide Details Williams was among the celebrities who were in Kennedy's entourage in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Kennedy was shot and mortally wounded by Sirhan Sirhan in June 1968. Williams sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at RFK's funeral, at Ethel's request. In August 1969, Williams and Claudine Longet named their newborn son, Bobby, after Kennedy. The Williamses' friendship with Ethel Kennedy endured, with Williams serving as escort to Ethel at events in the 1970s.
    On September 17, 1968, Columbia released a 45-rpm record of two songs Williams sang at the funeral of Robert F. Kennedy, his close friend: "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and Franz Schubert's Ave Maria."
    More Details Hide Details These were never released on a long-playing record. However, Williams sang a different rendition of the first song that appears in the Columbia Masterworks album Robert Francis Kennedy: A Memorial.
  • 1965
    Age 37
    Williams sang Mancini's "Dear Heart" at the 1965 Academy Awards and "The Sweetheart Tree" (also written with Mercer) at the 1966 Awards.
    More Details Hide Details On August 5, 1966, the 14-story, 700-room Caesars Palace casino and nightclub opened in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the stage production of "Rome Swings", in which Williams starred. He performed live to a sold-out crowd in the Circus Maximus showroom. He headlined for Caesars for the next twenty years.
  • 1962
    Age 34
    From 1962 to 1972, Williams became one of the most popular vocalists in the country and was signed to what was at that time the biggest recording contract in history.
    More Details Hide Details He was primarily an album artist, and at one time he had earned more gold albums than any solo performer except Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Elvis Presley. By 1973 he had earned as many as 17 gold album awards. Among his hit albums from this period were The Andy Williams Christmas Album, Dear Heart, The Shadow of Your Smile, Love, Andy, Happy Heart, Get Together with Andy Williams, Love Story, and Love Theme from the Godfather. These recordings, along with his natural affinity for the music of the 1960s and early 1970s, combined to make him one of the premier easy listening singers of that era. In the UK, Williams continued to reach high chart status until 1978. The albums Dear Heart (1965), Love Andy (1967), Can't Help Falling In Love (1970), Andy Williams Show (1970), Home Lovin Man (No. 1, 1971), Solitaire (1973), The Way We Were (1974) and Reflections (1978) all reached the Top 10.
    He was then asked to sing "Moon River", the theme from Breakfast at Tiffany's, at the 1962 Academy Awards where it won Best Original Song.
    More Details Hide Details Archie Bleyer at Cadence had previously told Williams that "Moon River" would not be a hit but the Columbia producers encouraged Andy to record the song along with eleven other movie themes for an album. After Williams performed the song at the awards show, it became a hit. Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes then sold across the country, garnering critical acclaim and propelling Williams into stardom. The album remained on the charts for the next three years, peaking at No. 3. In 1963, Williams's producer Robert Mersey encouraged him to record "Can't Get Used to Losing You" as the B Side to "Days of Wine and Roses". Williams initially did not like the pop song, preferring the Mancini tune, but "Can't Get Used to Losing You" reached No. 2 in the US and in the UK. The album containing both songs, Days of Wine and Roses and Other TV Requests topped the album charts at No. 1 for 16 weeks.
    Their personal and professional relationship finally ended in 1962 when Williams met and married Claudine Longet, and Thompson moved to Rome.
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  • 1961
    Age 33
    In 1961, Williams moved to Los Angeles, California after marrying Claudine Longet and signed on with Columbia Records.
    More Details Hide Details Williams first album with Columbia, Danny Boy and Other Songs I Love to Sing was a minor chart success and peaked at No. 19.
  • 1956
    Age 28
    His third single, "Canadian Sunset" reached No. 7 in the Top Ten in August 1956, and was soon followed by his only Billboard No. 1 hit—in February 1957—"Butterfly"—a cover of a Charlie Gracie record. "Butterfly" also reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in May 1957, where it spent two weeks.
    More Details Hide Details More hits followed, including "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" (US #11), "Are You Sincere? " (US #3 in February 1958), "The Village of St. Bernadette" (US #7 in December 1959), "Lonely Street" (US #5 in September 1959), and "I Like Your Kind of Love" with Peggy Powers (US #8 in May 1957).
  • 1954
    Age 26
    After finally landing a spot as a regular on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in 1954, Williams was signed to a recording contract with Cadence Records, a small label in New York run by conductor Archie Bleyer.
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  • 1953
    Age 25
    Williams' solo career began in 1953.
    More Details Hide Details He recorded six songs for RCA Victor's label "X", but none of them were popular hits.
  • 1949
    Age 21
    The act broke up in 1949 but reunited for another hugely successful tour from the fall of 1951 through the summer of 1953.
    More Details Hide Details After that, the four brothers went their separate ways. A complete itinerary of both tours is listed on the Kay Thompson biography website. Williams and Thompson, however, remained very close, both personally and professionally. She mentored his emergence as a solo singing star. She coached him, wrote his arrangements, and composed many songs that he recorded (including his 1958 Top 20 hit "Promise Me, Love" and, later, "Kay Thompson's Jingle Bells" on his 1964 No. 1 The Andy Williams Christmas Album). Using her contacts in the business, Thompson helped Williams land his breakthrough television gig as a featured singer for two-and-a-half years on The Tonight Show starring Steve Allen (it helped that the producer of the series, Bill Harbach, was Kay's former aide de camp). Thompson also got Williams his breakthrough recording contract with Cadence Records (the label's owner Archie Bleyer had gotten early career breaks because of Kay and he owed her a favor). Meanwhile, Williams sang backup on many of Thompson's recordings through the 1950s, including her Top 40 hit Eloise based on her bestselling books about the mischievous little girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
  • 1947
    Age 19
    They made their debut in Las Vegas in 1947 and became an overnight sensation.
    More Details Hide Details Within a year, they were the highest paid nightclub act in the world, breaking records wherever they appeared. Williams revealed in his memoir Moon River and Me that he and Thompson became romantically involved while on tour, despite the age difference (he was 19 and she was 38).
  • 1943
    Age 15
    Moving to Los Angeles in 1943, the Williams Brothers sang with Bing Crosby on the hit record "Swinging on a Star" (1944).
    More Details Hide Details They appeared in four musical films: Janie (1944), Kansas City Kitty (1944), Something in the Wind (1947) and Ladies' Man (1947). A persistent myth is that as a teenager the future singing star dubbed the singing for Lauren Bacall in the 1944 feature film To Have and Have Not. According to authoritative sources, including Howard Hawks and Bacall herself, this was not true. Williams and some female singers were tested to dub for Bacall, because of fears that she lacked the necessary vocal skills. But those fears were overshadowed by the desire to have Bacall do her own singing (perhaps championed by Humphrey Bogart) despite her less-than-perfect vocal talent. This myth is refuted in Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide in the entry for this film, but it is stated as true in "Three for the Road", Episode 10, Season 2 of the TV series MacGyver. In this, Edward Mulhare plays veteran movie actor Guy Roberts, and Anne Rogers portrays his wife June, and he asks her this particular question, whereupon she answers that Andy Williams, when 14, did dub his voice for Lauren Bacall.
  • 1938
    Age 10
    Williams had three older brothers—Bob, Don, and Dick Williams. His first performance was in a children's choir at the local Presbyterian church. He and his brothers formed The Williams Brothers quartet in late 1938, and they performed on radio in the Midwest, first at WHO, in Des Moines, Iowa, and later at WLS, in Chicago, and WLW, in Cincinnati.
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  • 1927
    Born on December 3, 1927.
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