Williams was on the pop charts into the 1970s, and continued to perform in his 80s at the Moon River Theatre he built in Branson, Mo.
Williams died Tuesday night at his home in Branson following a yearlong battle with bladder cancer. He was 84.
He became a major star the same year as Elvis Presley, 1956, with the Sinatra-like swing “Canadian Sunset,” and for a time he was pushed into such Presley imitations as “Lips of Wine” and the No. 1 smash “Butterfly.”
In 1970, when even Sinatra had given up and (temporarily) retired, Williams was in the top 10 with the theme from “Love Story,” the Oscar-winning tearjerker. He had 18 gold records and three platinum, was nominated for five Grammy awards.
“The Andy Williams Show”lasted on television in various formats through the 1960s and into 1971, and featured Williams alternately performing his stable of hits and bantering casually with his guest stars. Williams was the first to introduce The Osmond Brothers and presented some greats like Ray Charles, Mama Cass and a then unknown Elton John.
Retirement was not on his schedule. As he told the AP in 2001: “I’ll keep going until I get to the point where I can’t get out on stage.”
Williams is survived by his wife, Debbie, and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian.
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