Howard Andrew "Andy" Williams (born December 3, 1927) is an American pop singer. Andy Williams has recorded 18 Gold and three Platinum certified albums. He had his own TV variety show from 1962–71 in which he performed with many other superstars. He also owns his own theater, the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri.
Williams' solo career began in 1953. He recorded six sides for RCA Victor's label "X," but none of them were popular hits.
In 1954 he was signed to a recording contract with Cadence Records, a small label in New York run by conductor Archie Bleyer. His third single, "Canadian Sunset" reached #7 in the Top Ten in August 1956, and was soon followed by his only Billboard #1 hit, "Butterfly" in February 1957. More hits followed, including "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" (U.S. #11), "Are You Sincere" (U.S. #3 in February 1958), "The Village of St. Bernadette" (U.S. #7 in December 1959), "Lonely Street" (U.S. #5 in September 1959), and "I Like Your Kind Of Love" with Peggy Powers (U.S. #8 in May 1957) before Williams moved to Columbia Records in 1961, having moved from New York to Los Angeles and gaining another hit with "Can't Get Used to Losing You" (U.S. #2).
During the 1960s, Williams became one of the most popular vocalists in the country and was signed to what was at that time the biggest recording contract in history. He was primarily an album artist, and at one time he had earned more gold albums than any solo performer except Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Elvis Presley.
By 1973 he had earned as many as 18 gold album awards. Among his hit albums from this period were “Moon River,” “Days of Wine and Roses” (number one for 16 weeks in mid-1963), “The Andy Williams Christmas Album”, “Dear Heart,” “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Love, Andy,” “Get Together with Andy Williams” and “Love Story.”
Williams forged an indirect collaborative relationship with Henry Mancini, although they never recorded together. Williams was asked to sing Mancini and Johnny Mercer's song "Moon River" at the 1962 Oscar Awards (where it won), and it quickly became Williams' theme song; however, because it was never released as a single, "Moon River" was never actually a chart hit for Williams. The next year Williams sang "Days of Wine and Roses" which was written by Mancini and Mercer (this song also won). Two years later, he sang Mancini's "Dear Heart" at the 1965 awards and "The Sweetheart Tree" (also written with Mercer) at the 1966 awards.
Williams also competed in the teenage-oriented singles market as well and had several charting hits including "Can't Get Used to Losing You", "Happy Heart", and "Where Do I Begin", the theme song from the 1970 film, “Love Story.” In addition Williams hit the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart with, "Almost There" (1965), "Can't Help Falling In Love" (1970), "Home Lovin' Man" (1970) and "Solitaire" (1973).
His Christmas specials, which appeared regularly until 1974 and intermittently from 1982 into the 1990s, were among the most popular of the genre. Williams has recorded eight Christmas albums over the years and has been penned as Mr. Christmas.