90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Remembering Andy Williams

Performer and host Andy Williams at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in 1978. (AP)

Andy Williams — the man who sang “Moon River” and starred in many Christmas TV shows — has died at the age of 84.

President Reagan once called Williams “a national treasure.”

Williams starred in his own TV program from the late ’50s into the ’70s. Here & Now‘s Robin Young spoke to him in 2009 when his book, “Moon River and Me: An Autobiography” came out.

Interview Highlights

On his father, who used to tell Williams that he wasn’t that big a deal.

“In the long run, that thing about you’re not as good is that you have to work harder. I worked my butt off all the time to get as good as other people. And on my television series, I worked very hard to make sure that I knew this stuff so well that I could get out and be very calm about it and easy and relaxed”

On his Iowa upbringing and becoming famous

“I always felt… my God what am I doing. How can I be sitting next to Bing Crosby and singing duets with him on my show… It was surreal in a way, I couldn’t believe that I was this lucky.”

On his singing success

“I never took a lesson in my life. I just always sang. It just was natural for me to sing, it’s natural for all my brothers too. I don’t know, it just was easy.”


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • charles

    Sadly, I won’t be remembering Andy for his musical success in the 70′s as much as for his stupid, unnecessary remarks about Obama being a socialist.  

    It just goes to illustrate the importance of keeping your arts career separate from your lack of political cognition.  

    In case you missed it, Williams told the BBC “Obama is following Marxist theory. He’s taken over the banks and the car industry. He wants the country to fail.”Don’t like him at all. I think he wants to create a socialist country. The people he associates with are very Left-wing. One is registered as a Communist.”

    As a fellow Iowa-born, Iowa-educated student of political science, I can’t tell you how much that made me want to tear my hair out.

  • Giles

    Andy Williams is an incredible American Icon that will be missed by many.  Fortunately we can enjoy his talent as he lives on through his music.

    Focusing on comments he made about Obama shows a shallow concern for a great American Icon, and lacks understanding about what makes a man great.  Obviously, Charles hair must be rather thin these days.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 17 3 Comments

Jane Goodall Plants ‘Seeds Of Hope’

The world-famous primatologist discusses her new book, which is back on shelves after some controversy.

April 17 9 Comments

College Advice From A High School Counselor

Lisa Micele answers listener questions and explains what schools are looking for beyond GPAs and standardized test scores.

April 16 Comment

ER Doctor Looks Back A Year After Marathon Bombing

Dr. Ron Medzon, an emergency room physician at Boston Medical Center, recalls treating victims injured in the bombing.

April 16 36 Comments

Tensions Build In San Francisco Amid Tech Boom

As San Francisco experiences a historic economic boom, some activists say not all city residents are reaping the benefits.