.

Andy Williams Dead at 84

'Moon River' singer battled bladder cancer for the past year

September 26, 2012 10:33 AM ET
Andy Williams
Andy Williams circa 1960
GAB Archive/Redferns

Andy Williams, the golden-voiced singer known for "Moon River" and his popular TV Christmas specials, has died following a year-long battle with bladder cancer, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday. He was 84. 

Williams recorded 18 gold and three platinum records during a career that spanned more than 70 years. His relaxed, low-key vocal style, once called "a national treasure" by President Ronald Reagan, made him an easy-listening icon, an image reinforced by The Andy Williams Show. Airing in various formats from 1959-71, the show featured Williams along with regular guests including the Osmonds, Bobby Darin and the New Christy Minstrels. Williams also became known for clean-cut Christmas specials.

Born December 3rd, 1927, in Iowa, he began performing with three siblings as the Williams Brothers when he was 11 years old. Williams launched a solo career in 1953, compiling a steady stream of pop hits on cuts including "Canadian Sunset," "Are You Sincere" and his only Number One single, "Butterfly." "Moon River" became his signature song after he recorded the Johnny Mercer-Henry Mancini tune for his 1962 album, Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes

The song was so closely associated with Williams that he named his theater in Branson, Missouri, after it when the venue opened in 1992. Although Williams continued to tour in short bursts, the Moon River Theatre became his performing home for most of the past 20 years, and also displayed portions of Williams' world-class art collection, which included works by Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Richard Diebenkorn and Paul Klee.

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

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com