58 Facts About Andy Williams


Andy Williams recorded 43 albums in his career, of which 15 have been gold certified and three platinum certified.


Andy Williams hosted The Andy Williams Show, a television variety show, from 1962 to 1971, along with numerous TV specials.


Andy Williams sold more than 45 million records worldwide, including more than 10 million certified units in the United States.


Andy Williams was active in the music industry for over 70 years until his death in September 2012 from bladder cancer, at the age of 84.


Andy Williams was born in Wall Lake, Iowa, to Florence and Jay Emerson Andy Williams, who worked in insurance and the post office.


Andy Williams finished high school at University High School, in West Los Angeles, because of his family's move to California.


At 17, Andy Williams joined the United States Merchant Marine and served until the end of World War II.


Andy Williams revealed in his memoir Moon River and Me that Thompson and he became romantically involved while on tour despite the age difference.


Andy Williams mentored his emergence as a solo singing star.


Andy Williams coached him, wrote his arrangements, and composed many songs that he recorded, including his 1958 top-20 hit "Promise Me, Love", and later, "Kay Thompson's Jingle Bells" on his 1964 number-one The Andy Williams Christmas Album.


Meanwhile, Andy Williams sang backup on many of Thompson's recordings through the 1950s, including her top-40 hit "Eloise", based on her bestselling books about the mischievous little girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel in New York.


Andy Williams recorded six sides for RCA Victor's label "X", but none was a popular hit.


On December 15,1961, Andy Williams married Claudine Longet and signed with Columbia Records.


Andy Williams's first album with Columbia, Danny Boy and Other Songs I Love to Sing, was a chart success, peaking at number 19.


Andy Williams was then asked to sing "Moon River", the theme from Breakfast at Tiffany's, at the 1962 Academy Awards, where it won Best Original Song.


Andy Williams initially did not like the pop song, preferring the Mancini tune, but "Can't Get Used to Losing You" reached number two in the US and UK.


From 1962 to 1972, Andy Williams was one of the most popular vocalists in the country, and was signed to what was at that time the biggest recording contract in history.


Andy Williams was primarily an album artist, and at one time, he had recorded more gold albums than any solo performer except Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, and Elvis Presley.


The albums Dear Heart, Love Andy, Can't Help Falling in Love, Andy Williams Show, Home Lovin' Man, Solitaire, The Way We Were, and Reflections all reached the top 10.


Andy Williams forged an indirect collaborative relationship with Henry Mancini, although they never recorded together.


Andy Williams sang Mancini's "Dear Heart" at the 1965 Academy Awards and "The Sweetheart Tree" at the 1966 Awards.


Andy Williams performed to a sold-out crowd in the Circus Maximus showroom.


Andy Williams headlined for Caesars for the next 20 years.


On September 17,1968, Columbia released a single of two songs Williams sang at the funeral of his close friend Robert F Kennedy: "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria".


Andy Williams gave up the variety show in 1971 while it was still popular, continuing with three specials per year.


Andy Williams recorded eight Christmas albums over the years, and was known as "Mr Christmas", due to his perennial Christmas specials and the success of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".


Andy Williams is included in the montage of caricatures on the cover of Ringo Starr's 1973 album, Ringo.


Andy Williams performed during the halftime show of Super Bowl VII in January 1973, held at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.


Andy Williams had originally planned a marble style theater reminiscent of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, but soon had a change of mind.


On stage, Andy Williams was joined by Glen Campbell, Ann-Margret, Petula Clark, and Charo.


Andy Williams is reduced to tears as Williams performs "Moon River" during the second encore.


In 2007, Andy Williams opened the Moon River Grill adjacent to his theater in Branson.


The restaurant is decorated in photos from the Andy Williams Show with stars including Diana Ross, Elton John, and Sammy Davis Jr.


Andy Williams completed a sold-out tour of the United Kingdom and Asia in the winter and summer of 2007, in which he performed at several major concert halls including Royal Albert Hall.


In 1964, Andy Williams ultimately became the owner of the Cadence master tapes, which he occasionally licensed to Columbia, including not only his own recordings but those of his fellow Cadence-era labelmates: the Everly Brothers, Lenny Welch, the Chordettes, and Johnny Tillotson.


In 1968, although he was still under contract with Columbia for his own recordings, Andy Williams formed a separate company called Barnaby Records to handle reissuing of the Cadence material, especially that of the Everly Brothers and new artists.


Once Barnaby ceased operating as a working record company at the end of the 1970s, Andy Williams licensed the old Cadence material to various other labels after 1980.


Andy Williams was among the celebrities who were in Kennedy's entourage in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Kennedy was shot and mortally wounded by Sirhan Sirhan in June 1968.


Andy Williams sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at RFK's funeral, at Ethel's request.


Andy Williams raised funds for George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, performing at benefit concerts.


Andy Williams later said that despite his friendship with the Democratic Kennedys, he was a lifelong Republican.


Andy Williams was a guest on the Glenn Beck Radio Program in December 2009, introduced by his own 1960s recording of "Little Altar Boy".


Andy Williams met French-born Claudine Longet in Las Vegas when her car broke down and he offered help.


Andy Williams was a dancer at the time at the Folies Bergere.


Andy Williams played a public role in the subsequent events, escorting her to and from the courtroom, testifying to her character at the trial, and providing legal assistance.


Andy Williams had partial ownership of the Phoenix Suns NBA team from the team's inception in 1968 until 1987.


On May 3,1991, Andy Williams married Debbie Haas, nee Meyer, whom he met through a mutual friend.


Andy Williams was a noted collector of modern art and his homes have been featured in Architectural Digest.


Andy Williams' birthplace in Iowa is a tourist attraction and is open most of the year.


Andy Williams was an avid golfer and hosted a PGA Tour golf tournament in San Diego from 1968 to 1988 at Torrey Pines.


Andy Williams was a competent ice skater, and occasionally skated as part of his television Christmas shows.


Andy Williams was a noted art collector whose collection had hung in his homes, his offices, and in the Moon River Theatre, and was exhibited at the Saint Louis Art Museum in 1997 and 1998.


Andy Williams's paintings went to Christie's New York, where they fetched over $50 million.


On September 25,2012, Andy Williams died of bladder cancer at the age of 84 at his home in Branson, Missouri.


Andy Williams was cremated and his ashes were sprinkled into the artificial waterway named Moon River at his theater in Branson.


The memorial service for Andy Williams was held a month later.


The Andy Williams Show won three Emmy Awards in 1963,1966, and 1967 for Outstanding Variety Series.


Andy Williams recorded his first solo album, Andy Williams Sings Steve Allen, eight years later, and remained active in the music industry for the next 56 years, completing 43 studio albums, alongside compilation albums and more.