“Moon River, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style someday…”
Today is a day of grief, sadness and consolation. The legendary singer Andy Williams, most known for his sincere, moving rendition of “Moon River”, died this Tuesday in his home in Branson, Missouri. He was eighty-four years old, and had been battling bladder cancer for a good portion of his last days.
Andy Williams was a legend, and for good reason. He was known for his nice, “clean” look (as the People.com article puts it) – “[A] turtleneck under a brightly colored pullover sweater.” His voice was golden, like sweet honey cascading from the gates of heaven. Despite the fact that Andy Williams’s prime performing career occurred more than forty years before I was even born, I still find greater appreciation for his talents than those of say, Justin Bieber, or Nicki Minaj, or even the man that does the Gangnam Style dance (although I do find that song to be somewhat amusing).
Why do I have the utmost respect for Andy Williams? For one thing, Andy Williams did not have to sell himself as a sex object or “cute” as many music stars do today. Andy Williams was known as very attractive and manly, but this was simply a small part of Andy Williams’ natural personality, not a marketing feature. His voice alone could effortlessly capture the millions of people who were glued to the T.V. screen, rather than the wild hair, the asinine outfits, or the polarizing personas which serve as the basis for the current music scene (I’m looking at you, Lady Gaga.) To be fair, I’m not stating necessarily that current music stars such as Lady Gaga have bad voices – my point is that Andy Williams achieved fame and stardom through his voice and his voice alone.
In fact, Andy Williams’ rendition of “Moon River” is what earned him his nationally televised television show, The Andy Williams Show (1962). The original version of the show ran on the air until 1971, when the show became an annual Christmas special.
There is absolutely question that Andy Williams’s time here on this blessed Earth was not wasted. His voice captivated millions; his looks charmed millions; his Christmas special gave hope to millions. His death shall not go without immense sadness and grief. So, to end, rest in peace, Andy Williams. May your golden voice continue to inspire.