Andy Williams, the crooner best known for his tunes “Moon River” and the Christmas staple “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” has died at the age of 84, according to the singer’s publicist. The Washington Post reports that Williams was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011.
Andy Williams, who was born on December 3, 1927, began singing at church gatherings in Iowa when he was just eight-years-old. After cutting his teeth as a crooner at an early age, he formed the Williams Brothes quartet in 1938 with three of his siblings. In addition to performing with Bing Crosby on the ditty “Swinging on a Star,” the group appeared in such musical motion pictures as Janie, Kansas City Kitty, and Something in the Wind.
According to Wikipedia, Andy Williams began his solo career in 1953. After recording a number of unsuccessful singles for RCA Victor, the singer eventually packed up his golden voice and moved to Cadence Records. During his time at the label, Williams issued a number of charting tunes, including “Butterfly,” “Canadian Sunset,” and “The Hawaiian Wedding Song.” After leaving Cadence for Columbia Records, the singer promptly issued the hit song “Can’t Get Used to Losing You.”
Although the singer released a large number of memorable tunes over the years, it’s his rendition of Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s song “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s that will forever be his trademark. Holiday music fans, however, would probably argue that “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is the song he will be forever known for singing.
By the mid-70s, Andy Williams had amassed 18 gold album awards for such efforts as Moon River, The Shadow of Your Smile, and Get Together with Andy Williams. At one point, he had more gold records than any other solo artist on the planet outside of Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Elvis Presley.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Andy Williams is considered by many to be a voice of the 60s. The singer credits his success with his endless dedication to the craft. “The old cliche says that if you can remember the 1960s, you weren’t there,” the singer once explained. “Well, I was there all right, but my memory of them is blurred — not by any drugs I took but by the relentless pace of the schedule I set myself.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the singer’s family and friends. Are you a fan of Andy Williams? What do you consider to be his most memorable song?