Andy Williams songs will be played on record players across the globe today, after the effortlessly smooth crooner – best known for his track ‘Moon River’ – died on Wednesday, aged 84.
Williams soothing voice, boyish looks and easy-going demeanour ensured he outlasted many of the rock-stars of the 60’s and 70’s, as well as contemporaries such as Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. For a man who became a major star in the same year as Elvis Presley, Williams enjoyed an astonishing career and remained on the charts well into the 1970s, while continuing to perform into the 1980s at the Moon River Theater that he built in Branson. However, Williams’ television career was equally as commendable and his eponymous show lasted from 1962 until 1971, winning three Emmys along the way. It was on that show that Williams introduced the world to The Osmonds (their young sibling, a certain Donny, made his debut on the show when just 6-years-old). He also booked rock and soul acts, including The Beach Boys, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and Elton John. His attitude to fame was perhaps summed up when he mused “I guess I've never really been aggressive, although almost everybody else in show business fights and gouges and knees to get where they want to be…My trouble is, I'm not constructed temperamentally along those lines,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Williams never entertained the possibility of retirement and told the Associated Press in 2001, “I'll keep going until I get to the point where I can't get out on stage.” He is survived by his wife Debbie and three children.