Moon River and Me: A Memoir

Moon River and Me: A Memoir

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by Andy Williams
     
 

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"In Moon River and Me, his long-awaited autobiography, Andy Williams tells the extraordinary story of a career that has flourished for nearly three-quarters of a century and made its mark in every branch of show business. Raised by a father who was single-mindedly determined to see his four sons become famous performers, Andy spent much of his youth moving across

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Overview

"In Moon River and Me, his long-awaited autobiography, Andy Williams tells the extraordinary story of a career that has flourished for nearly three-quarters of a century and made its mark in every branch of show business. Raised by a father who was single-mindedly determined to see his four sons become famous performers, Andy spent much of his youth moving across the country, landing wherever he and his brothers might have a bigger opportunity, and eventually winding up in Hollywood. It was there that they caught the eye of the gifted entertainer Kay Thompson, who created an acclaimed nightclub act with the Williams Brothers that toured the country for four years. When Andy set off for a solo career in 1952, however, the fame he had enjoyed with Thompson began to slip away, and he soon found himself struggling to even support himself." But a lucky break led to a job on Steve Allen's Tonight Show, and within only a few short years his plushly beautiful tenor became one of the most recognizable voices in popular music. Andy shares not only the triumphs and setbacks of his career but his memories of the many notable people he came to know (including Judy Garland, Henry Mancini, Jack Lemmon, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and Elton John), writing particularly movingly about his close friendship with Bobby Kennedy, For everyone who grew up with the voice of Andy Williams as the sound track to their romances, their holidays, and their family gatherings, Moon River and Me will be a welcome - and often surprising - self-portrait of a warm, funny, generous, and always captivating man.\

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Pop icon Williams's memoir is an entertaining look at a show-business life that began in Iowa and progressed steadily to a worldwide career. After the Williams Brothers Quartet (Andy Williams and his three brothers) broke up in the early 1950s, Williams went out on his own, at first with little success. Eventually, he was given his own television variety show in 1962 and became one of the best-known pop crooners in the post-World War II era. His book is a treasure trove of anecdotes from the celebrity world. He was acquainted with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, Chico Marx, Michael Jackson, Elton John, and Fred MacMurray; Williams was a fast friend of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. The singer's fans will be absorbed by his accounts of his early years in the Midwest and Hollywood, his marriage to Claudine Longet and his role in her trial for manslaughter, and his therapeutic use of LSD. VERDICT An entertaining read for those who love celebrity biographies or autobiographies, especially those who remember the pop scene in the 1950s and 1960s.—Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville
Kirkus Reviews
Octogenarian crooner submits his Horatio Alger tale. In the 1960s, easy-listening icon Andy Williams's velvety voice and handsome mug became associated with a culturally conservative side of America that never embraced rock 'n' roll. But as we learn in this surprisingly candid memoir, Williams endured a pre-success hard-knock life that rivaled the squalid upbringings of many country singers or rock stars. Raised during the Great Depression in tiny Wall Lake, Iowa, a pre-adolescent Williams and his brothers were pushed hard by their hyperambitious manager father, singing at local church socials and anywhere else they could find work. Soon the family was living a peripatetic working-class existence, moving to Des Moines, then Chicago, then Los Angeles, doing radio shows and picking up the odd decent-paying gig. In L.A., however, his father's dogged persistence paid off when he got the brothers bit parts in a few Hollywood films. However, making it as a solo act in the post-World War II entertainment landscape nearly undid the workaholic singer. At his lowest point he was playing dingy nightclubs to little acclaim and sleeping in vermin-ridden flophouses-he once even resorted to eating dog food. Even as he began to have success on television, hosting the Andy Williams Show, while becoming a million-selling recording artist, life was still tough. Two marriages ended in divorce, and one ex-wife, singer Claudine Longet, was later involved in a controversial shooting. The author's peak years in the late '60s are the least compelling, as Williams rambles on about the fruits of success: art collecting, investing in Arabian horses, celebrity golf tournaments and run-ins with the Rat Pack,Elvis, John Lennon and seemingly every major or minor showbiz luminary of the day. Equal parts oddly compelling and eye-crossingly dull.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781410420572
Publisher:
Gale Cengage Learning
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
493
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

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