Thursday, October 11, 2012

Moon River was our Song

Having been out of the country, I mean, off the mainland, for ten days, I am catching up on news. The death of Andy Williams, although I knew he had cancer and it was expected, brought a mist to my eyes and a lump in my throat.
 As I look at him on film on TV, a young handsome man in 1962, I feel I have lost a friend. Many people feel that way, I'm sure. He was a celebrity who appealed to all ages.

He had a beautiful smile

Imagine Andy with one front tooth  missing.
Our song was Moon River, Andy’s theme song and the music from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Although my talented husband sang many of the good songs of the day, Barry never sang Moon River.
Could it have been that Andy Williams did such a great job, and I loved the song so much, he didn't want to be compared to that voice?
Barry knew how much I admired Andy, and he pretended to be jealous when I raved over my favorite singer  He even blacked out Andy's front tooth on a handsome album cover.
 Andy Williams' voice was the best of any popular singer at the time. Some say he should have been rated higher than Frank Sanatra, but Andy lived a more quiet life. Other than the scandal brought on by his first wife’s killing of her lover after she and Andy were divorced, no media smut tarnished his name.
He received 18 gold and three platinum albums over his long career, and in 2009, the crooner published the autobiography, "Moon River and Me: A Memoir."

President Ronald Reagan called Andy's voice "a national treasure."
I totally agree.
Although Andy was older when I finally saw him in person, the thrill of watching him perform his music on stage brought back early memories of my life with Barry, dancing to Andy’s songs, back when we danced. And I’ll always remember how we never missed the Andy Williams Christmas Show. That show created such joy and tenderness, with Oh Holy Night, and Sleigh Ride, and so many beautiful scenes we all dreamed about, especially we who lived in south west Georgia and never saw snow at Christmas. When I watch one of Andy's Christmas shows on PBS now, I get nostalgic.
The family aspect of Andy’s show made us love him more. His parents and his children always appeared on his show, along with his wonderful singing brothers. I related to this large loving family, as did millions of Americans.

I had four singing brothers also. They even enjoyed local celebrity on WGPC radio in Albany, Georgia.

We will not likely see again the gentleness and humor, the fantastic voice, the complete talent of one such as Andy Williams. I will miss him.

Were you a fan of Andy Williams? Do you have another favorite singer?



Love Andy too. Especially his Christmas specials. Moon River, ah. I'll never forget that one.
I can hear him now. He'll never be forgotten. RIP Andy.

Susan Anderson said...


I love the song. I loved Audrey Hepburn's version. I have another favorite rendition by a young musician named Katie Melua. I think she's from Great Britain. Look up her version on Youtube!
I remember Andy Williams from the 70's. He had a kind face and a kind voice.
Recently Rob and I got to see Natalie Cole in concert in Cherokee. She was fantastic. She is preserving the good music of yesterday. My husband enjoyed it and called her a class act.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Hi Barb. Thanks for stopping by. I like your blog. So good to find someone who remembers and appreciates writers, musicians, and others of my era.
Hope you will subscribe.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Susan, I'll look for Katie Melua.
I'll bet the concert with Natalie Cole was great. She is a fantastic singer like her father, Nat King Cole, who broke the color barrier for TV back in the sixties.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Purcell:
Whenever I hear Moon River, I'm reminded of an early morning car trip, returning from Pennsylvania to Columbus, GA with my young son. An ice & snow storm had hit the northern area of Virginia and my car slid across the road and landed in a snowbank head-first. Without wintercoats, I grabbed my 4 yr.old son and walked over a mile in open-toed shoes, a child on my hip to a small country store with a pot belly stove in the middle of the room. They welcomed us, warmed us, fed us, and blanketed us with care.People I never met before took out farm machinery and dug out my car. The owner's wife
sent us on our way with a bag of homemade biscuits and a jar of homemade jelly..and yes, a knife to spread her kindness. My son & I often recall the fright and the kindness. Thank you for reminding me of Andy Williams and "the kindness of strangers."

Glenda C. Beall said...

Nancy, thank you for sharing that beautiful story of kindness. Music can bring back memories we have long forgotten.
I'm glad your memory was stirred by this post.