“Moon River” Crooner Andy Williams Passes

Andy Williams

Andy Williams, the singer and television star known for the classic “Moon River,” died last night (9/25) at his home in Branson, Mo. He was 84 and had been battling cancer.

Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer penned “Moon River” which first grew to notoriety in the 1961 Audrey Hepburn film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Williams’s performance of the song on the next year’s Academy Awards solidified it as his own.

Williams’ repertoire also includes the timeless songs “Love Story,” “The Way We Were,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

His career grew with the musical-variety television series The Andy Williams Show, where he used “Moon River” as the theme song. His guests on the show ranged from established artists Judy Garland and Bobby Darin, to then new faces Elton John and the Mamas and the Papas. He introduced the Osmond Brothers to a national audience. Williams’ show was one of the first to delve into comedy skits, and his Christmas specials were very popular. The Emmy winning series ran from 1962 to 1971 on NBC.

More from the New York Times.

Ray Stevens with Andy Williams. Stevens said, "Andy Williams was one classy guy. He was a marvelously talented and generous performer who in 1970, entrusted his nationally acclaimed TV Show and audience to a green kid from Georgia. That kid was me and he changed my life. Thank you Andy and God Bless your wife Debbie, your brother Don, who was my longtime manager, your children and entire family. We miss you already!"

Andy Williams with Ray Charles.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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