Blog Archives

Singer Andy Williams is Dead at 84.

Andy Williams was a voice of the 1960s whose biggest hit,  the Henry Mancini song “Moon River“,  became his p

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.

A Zappadan Saturday…

First:

The famous Mike Nesmith and Frank Zappa switcheroo from the Monkees:

then…

Inca Roads from the One Size Fits All album:

and finally… Here is the Zappa piece I use whenever I host the Winners and Losers show for John Case on WSHC, Elvis has Just Left The Building from the Broadway The Hard Way album:

(That’s my favorite.)

“Son Of Mr. Green Genes” performed by the original Mothers… Paris 1968

I ran this one last year and it was one of the most clicked on posts.

A couple of notes:

Ian Underwood does the brilliant baritone sax solo… much better than the solo on Hot Rats.

Look at the cover picture at the beginning of this piece… That’s Jimi Hendrix second from the right… live and in person.

A little more on Zappa and Hendrix (from http://wiki.killuglyradio.com):

Zappa and Hendrix

Sat in with the Mothers Of Invention while they were in New York. It was FZ that first introduced Hendrix to the “Wah Wah” effect pedal.

FZ recalls seeing Hendrix at the Cafe Au Go Go:

“I thought Hendrix was great. But the very first time I saw him perform, I had the incredible misfortune of sitting close to him at the Au Go Go in New York City and he had a whole stack of Marshalls. I was right in front of it. I was physically ill. I couldn’t get out; it was so packed, I couldn’t escape. And although it was great, I didn’t see how anybody could inflict that kind of volume on himself, let alone other people. That particular show he ended by taking the guitar and impaling it in the low ceiling of the club. Just walked away and left it squealing.”

–”Zappa’s Inferno, Guitar World” (April 1987)

” Hendrix is one of the most revolutionary figures in today’s pop culture, musically and sociologically. Hendrix’s music is very interesting. The sound… is extremely symbolic: orgasmic grunts, tortured squeals, lascivous moans, electric disasters and innumerable other audial curiosities are delivered to the sense mechanisms of the audience at an extremely high decibel level. In a live performance environment, it is impossible to merely listen to what the Hendrix group does… it eats you alive.”

–”Zappa, quoted in a Life Magazine interview, The Oracle Has It All Psyched Out, 1968, from Kevin Courrier, “Dangerous Kitchen: The Subversive World of Zappa“, ECW Press, 2002, page 145

“Some of the really good things that Hendrix did was the earliest stuff, when he was just ripping and brutal. “Manic Depression” was my favorite Jimi Hendrix song. The more experimental it got, the less interesting and the thinner it got.”

At the 1968 Miami festival Hendrix presented Zappa with the remains of his guitar. Zappa would subsequently rebuild the guitar and perform with it throughout the 1970’s. In 2002 Dweezil put the guitar up for auction, hoping it would make one million dollars, but it failed to sell.

On the 9th day of Zappadan my true love gave to me NUTRITIOUSNESS, DELICIOUSNESS and WORTHLESSNESS.

And a Zappa quote for the day:

Interviewer: “So Frank, you have long hair. Does that make you a woman?”
FZ: “You have a wooden leg. Does that make you a table?”