Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Andy Williams Dead At 84 !

Singer Andy Williams, whose recording of "Moon River" brought him fans all over the world has died at the age of 84.

According to his publicist, Williams passed away on Tuesday night at his home in Branson, Missouri following a year-long battle with bladder cancer.

Williams revealed in November 2011 that he was diagnosed with the illness but planned to continue performing. 

It has to be noted that Williams started singing with his brothers as a child and his easy style and mellow voice led President Ronald Reagan to call him "a national treasure".

Williams proved ideal for television. "The Andy Williams Show", which lasted in various formats from 1957 to 1971, featured Williams alternately performing his stable of easy-listening ballads and bantering casually with his guest stars.

He received 18 gold and three platinum albums over his long career and was nominated for five Grammy awards. He released an autobiography in 2009: "Moon River and Me: A Memoir".

Though his version of "Moon River" made him world famous, it was among his many hits, including "Butterfly" and "Can't Get Used to Losing You".

It was on his show that Williams introduced the world to the original four singing Osmond Brothers of Utah. Their younger sibling Donny also made his debut on Williams' show in 1963 when he was six years old.

Williams' unflappable manner on television and in concert reflected his offstage demeanor.

Williams once quoted as saying: "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."

Williams' clean-cut persona, which made him a popular act in conservative Branson, also carried over into his private life.

He was connected with scandal only once - indirectly - when his ex-wife, former Las Vegas showgirl Claudine Longet, shot her lover, skiing champion Spider Sabich, to death in 1976. The Rolling Stones made fun of the tragedy in the song "Claudine".

Longet, who claimed it was an accident, spent only a week in jail and Williams provided support for her and their children, Noelle, Christian and Robert.

Born in Wall Lake, Iowa, on December 3, 1927, Howard Andrew Williams began performing with his older brothers Dick, Bob and Don in the local Presbyterian church choir when he was eight years old. Their dad, a postal worker, was the choirmaster.

He continued to perform even after announcing his bladder cancer diagnosis in 2011.

Williams is survived by his wife, Debbie and his three children: Robert, Noelle and Christian.

R. I. P Andy Williams

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