A Tribute to Andy WilliamsWhere do I begin? Well, until I heard that he had died, I barely knew he existed. I was putting on a record of old-time songs at my grandpa’s house when he handed me a newspaper, turned to the obituary page, and said, “Did you hear Andy Williams died?” I replied with “No, but that’s too bad,” and moved on. After all, I knew I’d heard his name somewhere, but I couldn’t even remember where. It wasn’t until a month or so later when Christmas rolled around and I listened to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year that I remembered the name Andy Williams. I’d always loved the way he sang that classic Christmas song, and how high he went – for I’ve always been a fan of high male vocalists. And so I thought to myself, “Why not check out more Andy Williams?” So I started listening to him sometime in mid December – and I haven’t stopped listening to him since.
I’ve had other singers who I started listening to for a few months, and then I gave up – but something was different with Andy – something extra special in the beauty of his clear, smooth tenor voice. Once I started – I knew I’d never be able to stop. Now, I consider Andy my favorite singer, perhaps next to Bing Crosby.
Although during his early singing years he got incessantly kidded about his being “stiff” and “unemotional” in his singing style, I find him extremely engaging to watch – I’ve laughed, giggled, smiled, and frowned. I’ve been invigorated and inspired, sobered and soothed, relaxed and refreshed, and even brought to tears by his music, and that’s what I call a good singer. One of my favorite things about Andy Williams is that he could sing in virtually any style he chose – he was best at (and I believe preferred) ballads – but I’ve heard him sing rock, country, jazz, minor and major, fast and slow, happy and sad, and, well, everything.
I love the way he closes his eyes on his high notes, and I enjoy his cute, rigid little hand motions, the way he doubles over and spreads out his arms to bow, his occasional nervousness or awkwardness, his funny grin, his colorful clothes, his sense of humor, his glowing smile, the way he hums along with the music, and I simply cannot get over how he says “measured” with a long a instead of a short e.
To me, Andy Williams is a beautiful person – but I don’t just mean I think he’s handsome; it goes much deeper than that. There’s something else – the hint of his soul that I seem to catch in the back of his eyes – there is a beauty, a goodness, a wholesomeness there, and I like it.
That’s what really puts me over the top in enjoying someone’s music – I can take pleasure in a song, but if I don’t believe the singer a good person, I simply will not like it as much as a song that is sung by a person who seems to me, by all accounts, to have been a good person. From the very first time I watched a clip of his show I felt like he was a good person, and that he had the same views, politically and morally, as I had myself. Since then I have discovered that I was right. He said once, “The important things are children, honesty, integrity and faith.” And from all that I know, he lived that out to the best of his ability, even against terrible odds and avid persecution. This simply makes me able to enjoy him and his music all the more.
I would love to give you lots of links to my favorites of his songs, but that would take way too long, and I wouldn’t be able to narrow it down, so go to YouTube, type Andy Williams in the search bar, and discover the magic for yourself.
So, in closing up this long, sort of sappy ramble, I’d just like to say – I was never able to hear him sing live on earth – but I hope to see him in heaven someday and hear him singing with the angels.