Andy Williams passed away on Sept. 25 at the age 84 in Branson, Missouri, where he had his own theater since 1992.
While Andy Williams had a rather square image of being a sweater-vested, middle-of-road pop performer. He did have a sweet croon, and his renditions of “Moon River” is a timeless classic.
But I remember Williams for his TV variety show The Andy Williams Show that he hosted from the early ’60s through the early ’70s. It wasn’t the music that I remembered, but the comedy. As smooth and easy-going he was as a singer, so was he as a comedy straightman. His show featured such kooky comic minds as Jonathan Winters, Charlie Callas and Professor Irwin Corey – wacky guys I loved as a kid. Looking up some information on this show, I came across a reference to a character called The Cookie Bear that I totally forgotten about. Here is a clip I could find on Youtube with the Cookie Bear.
Williams also was the man who brought Ray Stevens to national attention, signing him to his record label and setting up Stevens’ own variety show. Yes, Stevens also was a childhood fave of mind.
Rest in peace, Andy Williams