Clay Aiken – Remembering Moon River

 

Debbie and Andy Williams

The legendary singer Andy Williams lost his year-long battle with bladder cancer on Tuesday night. He died at his home in Branson, Missouri. He was 84.

Andy Williams was known for his mellow crooning style but that might not be the best way to remember him.  According to Fred Bronson at Billboard, Williams scored 42 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.  Many of his big hits were pure pop and written by top 40 songwriters.

Williams’ signature song was Henry Mancini’s  Moon River  from the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” It is interesting to find out that it never charted on the Hot 100 because it wasn’t released as a single.  According to Bronson:

He did perform the song at the 1962 Academy Awards, where it won the Oscar for Best Song. Williams’ label, Columbia, made sure stores were stocked with his album Moon River & Other Great Movie Themes the day after 80 million viewers watched the Oscarcast and the LP entered the Billboard album chart the week of  May 12, 1962 and peaked at No. 3. The song became Williams’ theme on his weekly variety series and later inspired the name of his theater in Branson, Mo.

Williams’ biggest hit single was in 1963. Days of Wine and Roses, was an Academy Award winner and was written by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini for the film of the same name.  Williams performed the song at the Oscars that year.

On TV, Andy Williams was famous for his variety shows.  “The Andy Williams Show,” appeared in various forms, and for various networks. Williams had shows on each of the three broadcast networks during his career. He started with a summer series first on ABC in 1958, and then on CBS in 1959, but he was best known for his initial five-year run on NBC.  Andy won three Emmy Awards over the years for outstanding variety series.  The program also introduced the Osmond Brothers to big-time show business.

Over his 75-year span in the business, Williams earned 17 gold and three platinum records.  He left a large legacy  of beautiful music and he will always be remembered for his easy style, mellow voice and casual banter with his guests and audience.

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

 

In 2010, Clay Aiken included the song,  Moon River, on his CD, Tried and True.  The arrangement, by Carl Marsh,  featured Clay’s soft voice and the beautiful guitar of Vince Gill.  Clay debuted the song on his PBS Special, Tried and True Live.  He kept the beauty of the song, but put his own touch on his recording.

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Comments

  1. So sad for the loss of Andy Williams. Moon River is a classic and beautiful song. Clay did a great job with it. It’s one of my favorites frm TnT.

  2. I loved listening to Andy Williams as a teen-ager – when his shows first became popular! He did such
    beautiful, fun, family shows – could use some of those shows on TV now!! I was very happy to see
    Clay appreciate "Moon River" so much – love hearing Clay's version!

  3. I've always loved Andy Williams. So sad about his passing. Clay sounded great with his version. LOVED it!!

  4. Lovely blog about Andy Williams. I always enjoyed his voice. When I was a kid, it was a thing in our home to watch his show. We wouldn't have missed it. Singing with his brothers was so great, and they could harmonize so well. I remember watching the Osmonds for the first time on that weekly show. Christmas time, Andy always had a special, and we always looked forward to that. He will be missed. Clay did a fantastic cover of "Moon River". I've heard others sing it, but Clay's voice and phrasing is just so wonderful. I hope Andy was able to hear Clay's version. I do believe he would have been proud of it.

  5. This was so nice. Thank you fort honoring Andy Williams.

    AND…many thanks for the video od Clay singing….that is always a great bit of your blog.

    Now, I am ready for Clay to announce some more news…PLEASE!!!

  6. I always loved to watch The Andy Williams Show at Christmas. He had a great voice and was such a good man. I really think that Clay's version of Moon River was one of the best.

  7. Andy WIlliams was a true lengend. He's one of my favorite singers to listen to at Christmas time. I'm thankful Clay was inspired to do his own wonderful rendition of Moon River. I love how Clay made that song his own and didn't do a direct copy.

  8. I attended this PBS concert in Raleigh. When Clay began singing Moon River, the fog machine started up. The fog rolled right off the stage and covered the first couple of rows of the audience. I always wondered if they could see Clay through the cloud. RIP Andy Williams. What a great singer he was.

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