Howard Andrew “Andy” Williams (December 3, 1927 – September 25, 2012) was an American singer who 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 owned the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, named after the song “Moon River”, with which he was closely identified.
During the 1960s, 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. 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 18 gold album awards. Among his hit albums from this period were Moon River, Days of Wine and Roses (number one for 16 weeks in mid-1963), The Andy Williams Christmas Album, Dear Heart, The Shadow of Your Smile, Love, Andy, Get Together with Andy Williams, and Love Story. 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.
Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s song “Moon River” (1962 Oscar winning song) became Williams’ theme song. However, it was never released as a single. “Moon River” was never actually a chart hit for Williams.
Andy Williams became the star of his own weekly television variety show, The Andy Williams Show (1962 to 1971). He won three Emmy Awards for outstanding variety program.
Williams hosted the most Grammy telecasts, from the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971 through the 19th Annual Grammy Awards in 1977, totaling seven consecutive shows.
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.
Andy Williams cause of death
Andy Williams died at his home in Branson, Missouri after suffering from bladder cancer for a year. Andy Williams was 84 years old at the time of his death.
Andy Williams health history
On Friday, November 4, 2011, it was reported in the press that Williams had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. The singer confirmed the condition in a surprise appearance that weekend at his theater in Branson, as reported by the Branson Tri-Lakes News. He underwent chemotherapy treatments in Houston, Texas and then moved with his wife, Debbie, to a rented home in Malibu, California to be closer to cancer specialists in the Los Angeles area.
On July 19, 2012, Williams’s theater announced that Andy Williams had returned to Branson following cancer treatment and was “in good spirits and getting stronger every day” and had hoped to take the stage as scheduled in September.
Andy Williams – Moon River 1960’s performance
Andy Williams – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year