Longtime croonerdied September 25 at his Branson home as a result of cancer at the age of 84.
During the nineteen sixties Williams ruled not only the radio airwaves; but the television airwaves as well with his own Emmy Award winning variety television show that helped to introduce the world to five young lads from Ogden, Utah known as The Osmonds. The Beach Boys, Tempations,, Mama Cass, , and a young unknown lavishly attired young British up and comer named all made appearances on Williams’ television show.
Williams continued to perform at him Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri. Even after being diagnosed with cancer, Williams vowed to return to the stage to celebrate 75 years in show business. He fell two months short of keeping his promise.
While he hosted the Grammy Award ceremonies on several occasions Williams himself only won one of the golden victrola statues .
Williams became known for his performances of movie soundtrack themes, his most famous was “Moon River”. The song became Williams’ own personal brand; despite the record company never releasing the song as a single. In fact, Williams titled his memoir “Moon River and Me”. Williams performed movie hits on dozens of films and television shows including “I’d Rather Be Rich”, “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean”, “More American Graffiti”, “Home Alone 2”, “The Simpsons”, “Six Feet Under”, “The Lord of War”, “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause”, “Te Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, “Dancing with the Stars”, “Johnny Mercer: The Dream’s on Me”, “East Enders”, “14 episodes of “The Tonight with Jay Leno”, and several awards shows.
He was born Howard Andrew Williams on December 3, 1927 in the small Iowa town of Wall Lake. Williams got his musical start when he joined his brothers Dick, Bob, and Don in the church choir. After repeated auditions, Williams and his brothers were accepted as a part of the WHO Iowa Barn Dance radio program and in 1944 the boys recorded with Bing Crosby. Later the Williams quartet made their Las Vegas debut at the El Rancho Room; Williams later became the first headline act at the Caesar’s Pallace. Five years later, in 1952, when the brothers stopped touring to raise families, young Andy went solo. Prior to getting his own show, Williams spent two years as a part of the “Tonight Show” with Steve Allen.
During the course of his career Williams earned over a dozen Billboard 200 top 10 albums, one Grammy Award, three Emmy Awards, 18 gold albums, and three platinum albums.
Williams is survived by his second wife Debbie Haas children Robert, Christian, and Noelle, brothers Don and Dick, and six grandchildren.