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Music Icon Andy Williams Dies at 84

andy williams
John Li, Getty Images

It’s one of the warm memories from my childhood.  Along with “Gunsmoke”, “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Gilligans Island” and “The Ed Sullivan Show”, there was “The Andy Williams Show”.

Each week on a little farmstead a mile south of Leota, Minnesota my Mom, Dad, Brother and I would pop a brown grocery bag of popcorn, sit in front of the black and white TV and watch the Andy Williams Show.

Andy passed away from bladder cancer at the age of 84 at his home in Branson, Missouri.  Williams was diagnosed with bladder cancer in Novemer 2011 but continued performing at his theater in Branson.

The Iowa native began singing at a young age with his brothers.  He had many hits through the years but became world famous with his hit “Moon River”.

And who could forget when, on his weekly show,  Andy Williams introduced us to a bunch of kids from Utah.  They were all brothers and did pretty well for themselves, too.  They were the Osmonds.

On a more personal note, it was “Moon River” that I decided to use in the play I wrote “Confessions of an Ordinary Man”.  For those that have seen the production, you know that the “Old Man” sits and reminisces about the only dance he and his late wife ever danced to.  It was on their 50th anniversary and the song was “Moon River” by Andy Williams.

Why did I choose “Moon River” for the play?  Because it brought me back to that little farmstead, to the linoleum floor in that living room, to my Mom in the cloth covered chair, my Dad on the well-worn sofa, and me and my brother on the floor, munching popcorn and watching “The Andy Williams Show”.  And what great Christmas Specials he had to.

He brought warmth to a farmhouse on a cold Minnesota winter night.  God Bless you Andy.  And thanks.

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