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Andy Williams - Four Classic Albums
rec. 1958-1962
AVID POP AMSC1247 [2 CDs: 141:48]

Andy Williams (1927-2012) was an American popular music singer whose warm and friendly tenor voice helped him sell over 100 million records. Andy began singing when he was six years old with his three older brothers Bob, Don and Dick, in their local Presbyterian Church choir in Wall Lake, Iowa. In 1938 the four boys formed the Williams Brothers Quartet singing group and began appearing on local radio stations, before the family moved to Los Angeles in 1943. The brothers got their first big break there, singing with Bing Crosby on his 1944 hit Swinging On A Star. The quartet soon began appearing in film musicals, and in 1947 they joined Kay Thompson in Las Vegas and became the highest paid nightclub act in the world.

Andy began his career as a solo singer in 1953 for RCA Victor, then moving the following year to the Cadence Records label, which produced Andy’s 1958 debut album Andy Williams and the 1959 album Lonely Street, both reproduced here and appearing as CD 1. Cadence Records founder Archie Bleyer conducted the studio orchestra for both albums. Canadian Sunset was one of Andy’s earliest hits. The song was written by Eddie Heywood and Norm Gimbel and had been recorded earlier by Eddie and Hugo Winterhalter as an instrumental. Andy’s well-known version features his relaxed singing style and beautiful voice double-tracked to harmonize with himself, accompanied by a full orchestra and jazzy brass section. Another of Andy’s early hits was Butterfly, written by Bernie Lowe and Kal Mann. Andy sings the light, choppy tune accompanied by guitars and an unidentified vocal group providing harmony, along with snapping fingers, hand-claps, and whistles. The Lonely Street album is a collection of torch songs, and Andy sings each with tenderness and impeccable phrasing. The tune Summer Love was written by Kay Thompson, and Andy sings the gentle ballad with a beautifully simple arrangement featuring strings and a guitar background.

In 1961 Andy signed with Columbia Records, and the albums Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes and Warm and Willing were each released in 1962. The albums both appear on CD 2 in this collection. Moon River was composed by Henry Mancini, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and appeared in the 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffany’s, earning an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The tune is a true pop classic, and Andy’s well-known version became his theme song for the rest of his career. The album Warm And Willing was a concept-album produced by Robert Mersey for Columbia, a selection of slow, romantic tunes from the Great American Songbook. The song My One And Only Love was written by Guy Wood and Robert Mellin and published in 1952, and the unique song structure has made it a favorite of many tenor sax players. Andy sings an eloquent version with a heavenly string introduction and gentle and sensitive piano background. It doesn’t get any smoother.

An 8-page booklet is included, with liner notes and photos from the original albums. The sound quality is excellent.

Bruce McCollum
  
Contents
CD1

Andy Williams
Canadian Sunset (2:34)
I Like Your Kind Of Love (2:27)
Walk Hand In Hand (2:48)
Lips Of Wine (1:43)
Not Any More (1:57)
It Doesn’t Take Very Long (2:51)
Baby Doll (2:01)
Butterfly (2:19)
High Upon A Mountain (2:45)
Stop Teasin’ Me (2:28)
Since I’ve Found my Baby (2:24)
Straight From My Heart (2:24)

Lonely Street
You Don’t Know What Love Is (3:36)
In The Wee Small Hours (2:53)
When Your Lover Has Gone (2:39)
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (2:38)
Gone With The Wind (2:03)
Summer Love (2:51)
Say It Isn’t So (3:26)
Unchained Melody (3:12)
Autumn Leaves (2:40)
Willow Weep For Me (2:52)
I’m So Alone (2:18)
Lonely Street (2:42)

CD 2
Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes
Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing (2:52)
A Summer Place (2:28)
Maria (3:37)
Never On Sunday (2:59)
As Time Goes By (3:07)
The Exodus Song (3:15)
Moon River (2:44)
Tonight (2:33)
The Second Time Around (3:18)
Tender Is The Night (2:57)
It Might As Well Be Spring (3:06)
Three Coins In The Fountain (2:55)

Warm and Willing
Embraceable You (3:45)
How Long Has This Been Going On (3:36)
The Touch Of Your Lips (3:11)
I See Your Face Before Me (3:35)
The Way You Look Tonight (3:38)
If Ever I Would Leave You (3:41)
My One And Only Love (3:50)
Stranger On The Shore (2:51)
Warm All Over (3:18)
More Than You Know (3:28)
Love Is Here To Stay (2:45)
Warm And Willing (2:54)
Then I’ll Be Tired Of You (3:36)

 

 




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