Howard Andrew Williams was born on December 3, 1927, in, Wall Lake, Iowa, and died on September 25, 2012 in Branson, Missouri. Starting out in a church choir and as a teenager joining his three brothers to form a quartet that performed first on radio in Des Moines on WHO, and then in Chicago on WLS and Cincinnati’s WLW, Andy became a regular on Steve Allen’s Tonight Show in 1955.
In 1955 Andy signed a recording contract with Cadence Records, where in the summer of 1956 his vocal version of the smash hit instrumental “Canadian Sunset” would earn him a top ten hit, followed by Andy’s lone #1 single chart topper, “Butterfly”.
In 1957 Andy Williams landed in the top ten with “I Like Your Kind of Love” and again in 1958 with “Are You Sincere”. In 1959 “Lonely Street” and “The Village of St. Bernadette” both were top ten hits.
Leaving Cadence for Columbia Records, Andy in 1963 reached the #2 spot on the Hit Parade with “Can’t Get Used to Losing You”. Among his fifty plus hit singles, were “Hopeless”, “Dear Heart” and “A Fool Never Learns”, but it would be in 1971 before he had another top ten hit single, “Where Do I Begin” from the film “Love Story”.
However, as an album artist, Andy Williams was a superstar with as many as 17 gold albums, including:
- “Moon River”
- “Days of Wine and Roses”
- “Dear Heart”
- “The Shadow of Your Smile”
- “Love Story”
- “The Andy Williams Christmas Album”
The Christmas album is still a best seller several decades later. He would record eight Christmas albums, more than any other recording artist at Columbia.
The Andy Williams Show on television won three Emmy Awards and up until the 1990s his Christmas specials were family habits during the holidays. In recent years, to the delight of fans, Andy opened his “Moon River Theatre” in Branson, Missouri where he had a home. He alternated between a residence there and one in La Quinta, California.