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Posts tagged: Andy Williams

Moon River – crossed in style

Andy Williams, smooth voice of the 1960s and 1970s and…through every Christmas I can remember, has died. Williams was 84 and died last night at his home in Branson, MO.

As a child in wintery Minnesota, I listened to Andy Williams sing Christmas songs on the family hi-fi and still, each December, play the same music, now in CD form, as my backdrop to trimming the tree. His voice takes me back to my childhood, to my family and to a time of innocence.

That innocence was shattered when Sirhan Sirhan gunned down Bobby Kennedy and our nation  watched as the young Robert Kennedy was laid to rest. Williams’ voice sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic and now, no matter who sings that song or what the setting is, I am suddenly 13 again and remembering Robert Kennedy’s funeral.

Music impresses memories and feelings onto our hearts as no other experience can. Williams’ life of class and grace, like his music, speaks of following one’s dreams, after all, there’s such a lot of world to see…Such a blessing, such a loss.

(S-R archives photo: Andy Williams Feb. 23, 1978)

Andy Williams talks about his bladder cancer

Andy Williams, 83, has bladder cancer. He announced it at a concert Saturday in Branson, Mo.

As the celebrities of my childhood age and pass away, the memories stir.

One of the first grown up movies I ever saw was I'd Rather Be Rich at the Fox Theatre in 1964. My sister and her husband took me along for some reason (I was in third grade) and I was astonished at the couples in the dark theater making out. I kept staring. Once couple behind me finally told me to quit staring.

And when his ex-wife, Claudine Longet, was accused of shooting her skier husband, in 1976, it was THE story, especially Andy's devotion to her, and the Saturday Night Live skits that followed soon became infamous.

Just how we mark time by the aging of family members, we do it with famous people, too.

(S-R archives photo)

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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