Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Crooner Came along Once in a Blue Moon

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Crooner Came along Once in a Blue Moon

Article excerpt

ANDY Williams was a voice of the 1960s, although not the '60s people usually hear about now.

aThe cliche says that if you can remember the 1960s, you weren't there,a the singer once said.

aWell, I was there all right, but my memory of them is blurred a not by any drugs I took but by the relentless pace of the schedule I set myself.a

Williams' plaintive tenor, boyish features and easy demeanour helped him outlast many of the rock stars who had displaced him and such fellow crooners as Frank Sinatra and Perry Como.

He remained on the charts into the 1970s and continued to perform in his 80s.

In November, 2011, when Williams announced that he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer, he vowed to return to performing the following year, his 75th in show business.

Williams died last week at his home after a year-long battle with the disease, his Los Angeles-based publicist, Paul Shefrin, confirmed this week. He was 84.

Williams became a major star the same year as Elvis Presley, 1956, with the Sinatra-like swing Canadian Sunset, and for a time he was pushed into such Presley imitations as Lips of Wine and the No.1 smash Butterfly.

But he mostly stuck to what he called his anatural stylea.

In 1970, when even Sinatra had given up and (temporarily) retired, Williams was in the top 10 with the theme from Love Story, the Oscar-winning tearjerker.

He had 18 gold records and three platinum, was nominated for five Grammy awards and hosted the Grammy ceremonies for several years.

Movie songs became a specialty, from Love Story to Days of Wine and Roses.

Moon River, the longing Johnny Mercer-Henry Mancini ballad, was his most famous song, even though he never released it as a single in England and the US because his record company feared such lines as amy huckleberry frienda were too confusing and old-fashioned for teens. …

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