Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Andy Williams

When I was a kid, I loved Christmas specials on TV and my very favorite was always Andy Williams' annual Christmas special. He and his beautiful French wife and their kids would get together at a ski lodge or something and sing and tell stories and play and have fun and open presents. It was an idyllic Christmas to me. Andy's holiday specials ran for years. To my recollection, they even continued to run for a couple years after his friendly divorce from wife Claudine (Andy would stick by her during her later scandal and legal troubles, also). 

Andy had been a singer with his brothers (who often appeared on his TV specials, also) for years but split off with a series of hit records that defied the odds and made the top of the charts in the rock 'n' roll era. He continued making bestselling albums throughout the sixties.

Andy had several incarnations of THE ANDY WILLIAMS show in the sixties and seventies, the earliest frequently showcasing a young barbershop quartet consisting of four brothers named Osmond. Their little brother Donny would appear after a while, too. Just about everyone who was anyone--at least in "old" show business-- guested with Andy during the sixties version of his show.


Andy also served as the long-running amiable host of THE GRAMMY AWARDS (until a rather unfortunate faux pas when he said to Stevie Wonder via a live remote, "Can you see me?" He hosted other Awards shows, too, as well as a golf tournament and occasionally guesting on everyone else's program.

An early proponent of Branson, Missouri, Andy set up a theater there where he performed for many years to appreciative audiences as his hair turned grey but his eyes still twinkled. 

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