Andy Williams died Tuesday night at his home in Branson following a yearlong battle with bladder cancer.
With an easy style and a mellow voice that President Ronald Reagan once termed “a national treasure,” Williams proved ideal for television. “The Andy Williams Show,” which lasted from 1957 to 1971, featured Williams performing his stable of easy-listening ballads.
It was on that show that Williams – who launched his own career as part of an all-brother quartet, introduced the world to the original four singing Osmond Brothers of Utah. Their younger sibling Donny also made his debut on Williams’ show, in 1963 when he was 6 years old.
Four decades later, the Osmonds and Williams would find themselves in close proximity again, sharing Williams’ theater in Branson, Mo., during the 2003 season.
It was my privilege, and pleasure, to see Mr. Williams show in Branson, MO a few years ago. And hearing him sing Moon River in person was a special delight.
His voice was somewhat faded, the high notes seemed harder for him to reach. But it didn’t matter. He owned the song. And the memory of the wonderful years of listening to its beautiful melody sung by him was still there.
It was my mother’s favorite song. Each year, a disc jockey at the radio station in Corbin played it for her on her birthday. I don’t know his name, but it was someone she had cultivated a friendship with. It was a fine gesture on his part and I’d like to thank him but I don’t know his name. It meant a lot to her.
In the decades where music was melodic and words were discernible, Andy Williams was among the best. But in today’s age, good music is hard to find. When a car goes by my house with its amps turned up high enough to break the sound barrier, shaking my house to its underpinnings, I want to go out and buy a gun. What I’m hearing is noise, ugly blatant loud noise. That seems to be what defines music today.
“Can’t Get Used to Losing You,” Andy. Your songs had feeling and emotion and were uplifting, something that is in danger of becoming extinct today. But we thank you for the years of pleasure you brought us. You really were a national treasure. Rest easy, dear Andy..
Cool weather is time for chowder. Put this on before you leave work in the morning and supper is ready when you get home. Good with crusty French bread.
Slow Cooker Potato
and Double Corn Chowder
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed (4 cups)
1 can (15.25 ounces) Green Giant® whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can (14.75 ounces) Green Giant® cream-style corn
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients.
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours (or High heat setting 3 to 4 hours) to develop flavors.
Note: This recipe was tested in slow cookers with heating elements in the side and bottom of the cooker, not in cookers that stand only on a heated base. For slow cookers with just a heated base, follow the manufacturer’s directions for layering ingredient.