23 DEC 07 ANNE FARNSWORTH
Anyone who watched television in the '60s and '70s remembers Andy Williams' Christmas specials. In 2001, Concord released recordings from that era, Andy Williams Live - Christmas Treasures.
An offshoot of his Emmy award-winning weekly show, the specials were highlights of the holiday season, a Currier and Ives print come alive with skaters bundled in furs and Victorian-garbed carolers strolling through the snow. For with all the skating and snowflakes and furs, the heart of the show was Andy and his marvelously rich voice.
As a child, the Williams family mesmerized me -- the French wife, the adorable children, his look-alike brothers in their matching sweaters. My parents were younger than the Williamses, but bore a strong physical resemblance. Sitting on the couch I'd sneak assessing glances around the room, convinced that if Dad wore a turtleneck under his sport coat and Mom would tilt her head coquettishly when she sang, our family would be almost as glamorous as the one on TV.
Now a grown woman looking at the CD's vintage cover shot of Williams, the first thing I think is, "Wow. Good-looking guy," then the nuances of his voice that eluded my young ears. I remember the resonant middle range but where did that do-wop style falsetto come from? And do I detect a hint of a brogue? More ethereal things about Williams are captured on these recordings as well -- the honesty and clarity of his delivery and the warm, welcoming affection that colored every song he sung.