Legendary singer Andy Williams, known for his smooth voice and classics such as "Moon River," died after a year-long battle with bladder cancer at his Branson, Missouri, home on September 25th, 2012. Williams, 84, began his singing career as a child in a quartet with his brothers, but he rose to stardom as a solo act starting in the 1950s. "The Andy Williams Show," a weekly television variety program that ran for nine years on NBC starting in 1962, and a dozen TV specials from 1959 through 1987 made Williams a household name in the United States. He spent the last 20 years of his career performing on his own stage at his Moon River Theatre in Branson. "Moon River" became his theme song after he performed it at the 1962 Academy Awards, where it won an Oscar for best song in a movie. Audrey Hepburn sang the Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini composition in the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Williams' recording career reached superstar status in 1963 when his album "Days of Wine and Roses" spent 16 weeks at the top of the U.S. music charts. His variety TV show, which promoted the careers of many other artists including the Osmonds, won high ratings and three Emmys. He was born on December 3, 1927, in Wall Lake, Iowa, where he began singing with brothers Bob, Dick and Don in a Presbyterian church choir led by their parents. Williams was just 8 when he made his professional singing debut with the Williams Brothers Quartet. The brothers were regular performers on radio station WHO's "Iowa's Barn Dance Show" in Des Moines. Their popularity grew, taking the brothers to national stations, including WLS in Chicago and WLW in Cincinnati. Doris Day was his friend when they were both young and living in Cincinnati. "He and his brothers sang and, of course, so did I, and often I would go over to their house and we would sing together," Day said Wednesday. "They asked me to join their group, but my vocal coach thought I should be out on my own, and so that's what I did." Smokey Robinson said Williams "befriended me when I was just a teenager starting out in show business, and we remained friends throughout the years." "I regret that we didn't have the chance to spend more time together," Robinson said. "He was one of the great voices and great people of our time."
At first I was just going to lay down the tracks for "Can't get Used to Losing you" but if you're going to do an Andy Williams number you better do "Moon River" or what's the point??
So I did both and you can hear either or both by clicking below.
-Brian K. Forrest
Can't Get Used to Losing You