Saturday, June 30, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Andy Williams

Artist:Andy Williams
Song:Moon River
Album:16 Biggest Hits

Though Moon River is Andy Williams' signature song, it was never released as a single so it was never a hit. His TV variety show was the main reason Williams was a star. He still performs at his theatre in Branson, MO. He was born Dec. 3, 1927 in Wall Lake, IA and he and his older brothers Bob, Don & Dick performed as The Williams Brothers in the 40s mostly on the radio. They sang backup vocals on the 1944 Bing Crosby hit Swingin' On A Star. Williams first recorded solo for RCA in 1953. When he became a regular on Steve Allen's Tonight Show in 1954, he was spotted by Cadence Records owner Archie Bleyer and signed a record deal. His first top ten hit was Canadian Sunset in 1956 and this was followed by his only number one hit Butterfly. His other big hit single Can't Get Used To Losing You reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. Moon River was written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer for the 1961 hit film Breakfast At Tiffany's. Though Audrey Hepburn didn't really sing and her voice was usually dubbed, she did sing Moon River in the film. Nobody liked her performance and Paramount Pictures wanted it to be deleted. Williams wanted to record the song but Bleyer didn't like it. So Williams left for Columbia. Soon after he bought Cadence and founded Barnaby Records. Columbia had Williams do an album of movie themes Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes. Williams sang Moon River on the Oscar broadcast and the song won for Best Original Song. In the two weeks following, record stores took 40,000 advance orders for the album. So Columbia rushed the release but they never released Moon River as a single. Williams adopted it as the theme song for his variety show and it is considered to be his signature song. He continued to sing songs from films and though it didn't convert to pop success, he still had a steady following of mostly older folks because of his TV show. When the show ended in 1971, Williams continued to tour and recorded for Columbia until 1976. He opened his own theatre in Branson, MO in 1991 and still performs there. He seems to record a lot of Christmas albums. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in Nov. 2011 and is undergoing treatment in Los Angeles. Here's Andy Williams performing Moon River on The Andy Williams Show 1962.

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