There was a time when the average kid could only afford two or three record albums per year.
They didn't have thousands of songs on a phone that they got from all their friends for free.
In 1966, the average kid bought two Beatles albums and one of the following:
Mamas And Papas
Dave Clark 5
Simon And Garfunkel
I had the two Beatles albums and a very odd choice:
Andy Williams "Shadow Of Your Smile" LP
The other kids thought it was very strange. Some old man singing old people's songs.
A 13-year old listening to Andy Williams. Unheard of.
But everybody was familiar with Andy Williams.
His song "Moon River" was a classic.
He was regularly on TV with other old singers, but later would be
one of the first to bring on younger acts.
I first heard Andy Williams in 1962 when a song of his made
the Top 40. "Can't Get Used To Losing You."
It was a great pop song and this man's voice had a unique tone with his
easy going style.
That 1966 "Shadow of Your Smile" album introduced me to both standards, classics
and something really incredible. Brazilian Bossa Nova songs he did with
a man named Antonio Carlos Jobim. "Meditation" and "How Insensitive"
expanded my musical world.
And he did Beatles songs as well.
Every year I bought his new album and increased my musical awareness.
In 1968, Andy Williams sang at a Bobby Kennedy rally.
He was going to do 25 minutes but was so committed to the man,
he went on for 2 hours. It was delightful and free.
When I had my worldwide talk radio show on Yahoo! in the late 90's,
I sent Andy a note expressing my enthusiasm over the years and he decided
to come on my show for a few hours. What a dream for me!
In 1999 a TV commercial in the U.K. used his 1967 version of
"Music To Watch Girls By" and it became so popular it entered
the Top 10 on young people's music charts. He was thrilled by this strange
turn of events.
And we talked a lot about Bobby Kennedy.
I have played Andy Williams music for almost 50 years and always will.
His voice and style will live on.
As The Bear would say on his TV show "Gee, Mr. Williams!"