Andy Williams Dies At 84 – He Was The BEST!
By Alan on Sep 26 in Blog | 67 Comments
Andy Williams, Dies at 84
Tuesday night 9/25/2012 at his home in Branson, Missouri.
Andy Loved The Osmonds
And The Osmonds Loved Andy Williams!
When I heard this morning that Andy Williams had died, my heart felt a major loss; yet there was a peaceful feeling of love that warmed my soul for a dear friend. I knew he had been struggling with a health challenge but was told a few weeks ago that he was planning on returning to the stage. Andy had been quoted to have said ”I Have Done A Lot Of Things That I Love.”
We have known Andy Williams for a long time and we loved him. He was like an older brother and a part of our Osmond Family. “Mr. Williams”, as we first called him out of respect, first introduced us on one of his Andy Williams Shows in 1962, remembers Alan Osmond, the eldest and leader of The Osmond Brothers group.
We were a barbershop quartet and loved singing together just like Andy and his brothers Don, Dick and Bob Williams did when they were young. In fact, Andy’s father, Jay Williams, had just seen us on a TV Show that we had done from Disneyland with Walt Disney. He learned that we had met the Lennon Sisters and called them to get our phone number in Ogden, Utah.
I remember my father answering the phone one night and talking to Jay Williams who said that Andy has a new show on TV and wondered if we would consider coming to California and auditioning for it. Yes, was my father’s response! A few days later, we were all packed up and drove in our station wagon to Los Angeles to meet Andy Williams.
The rest is history. We walked into NBC in Burbank, California and met NBC’s manager Jerry McPhie who took us to meet Andy in the rehearsal hall where Andy and the dancers with the production staff were rehearsing. They took a break and we met Mr. Williams.
Andy thanked us for coming to California and asked us to sing a few songs for the staff and cast of the show. All I can remember was that they were laughing and clapping their hands! Andy loved the songs we sang and I’m sure reflected back to the days when he and his brothers were singing together. The producers liked us and our music and they applauded us. It was then where we met Don Williams, Andy’s brother, who later became our manager. Andy asked us if we would do two of his TV shows and then they would see what the audience reaction to us would be. Andy told us that the camera that had the red light on was the one we should look at. Jay took him seriously and it caused a great response as he kept turning his hed toward the camera. Andy said, “Keep it up Jay!”
After we had driven back home, we got a call saying that they’d received stacks of letters from people throughout America and Canada who saw the show saying they’s like to see more of The Osmond Brothers so they offered us a 5 year contract. We stayed with Andy Williams for over 7 years and had the most wonderful time of our lives. Andy challenged us to do lots of new things on TV.
We danced, juggled, played saxophones, pianos, rock and roll with guitars, bass and drums, did various production numbers, etc. I remember one week Andy said that Peggy Fleming was going to be on the show and it was going to be all ice. He said, “You ice skate don’t you?” I was about to say no when my father George said, “Yes, we’ll be ready!” We never went home but to an ice rink where we crash course learned to ice skate! In 5 days we skated backwards, did flips, shoot the ducks, and made the show! After the show, Andy called us and said, “Ice Capades called and wanted to know if you would go on tour with them!”
Yes, we worked hard to please Andy because he was a perfectionist. He always sang in tune and we learned to do the same. Because we were minors and couldn’t only work a few hours a day, we rehearsed long into the evenings at home to make sure we kept up that reputation of being the “One Take Osmonds”.
Andy Williams spent time with us indivually and collectively in coaching us in singing and developing breathing techniques that he had done. Andy gave us full stage production opportunities and broke the law of show business of “Never working with animals or kids!” If fact, he gave us numerous TV moments together with him on stage! That built a bond between us that could never be broken.
Andy sometimes got labeled as “the affable, boyishly handsome crooner who defined both easy listening and wholesome, easygoing charm” but, that is what made him popular with his TV audience! We Osmonds also got labeled as being “goody goody”and “too clean cut” and we were told we would never make it in show business! Well, with Andy William’s help and opportunities that came our way to prove ourselves, with hard work, we did! We give Andy much credit for launching not only The Osmond Brothers, Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond, Jimmy Osmond, but also my sons The Osmond Boys – The Osmonds Second Generation and what was on the table and in the works, was for Andy to launch The Osmond Girls (my granddaughters) The Osmonds Third Generation!
Everyone needs a break in Show Business and ANDY GAVE US OURS!
We left Andy Williams after 7 years on his TV Shows to pursue a pop/rock career and to appeal to our own teenage audience. Andy understood and even encouraged us. He also stepped up and offered us a label deal with his newly formed Barnaby Record label.
We toured with Andy. We laughed and had fun with Andy. Andy respected our religious beliefs as Mormons and even Andy’s father told him before he died, “Andy, listen to the Osmonds. The Osmonds have something!” That something is called The Family!
In behalf of my family, we offer our everlasting love to Andy and his family. We believe we are all God’s children and that families are forever! I am sure that my parents who have also gone on to the other side were there to welcome Andy along with Andy’s parents. That’s how close we were.
You can’t find a better singer than Andy Williams! Andy was the BEST! You can’t find a more loyal friend and supporter than Andy Williams. We were BEST of friends and families. When we worked with Andy on his TV series, he gave us the BEST musicians, the BEST wardrobe, the BEST choreographers, and many of the BEST spots on the show. When Andy established his Andy Williams Theater in Branson, Missouri, he called us and encouraged us to take a look at Branson, Missouri and in building a theater there. We did, and with Andy’s advice, we established our own Osmond Family Theater in Branson, Missouri and launched the Osmonds Second Generation, as well as worked together as a family there for over 10 years. Again, those years were the BEST!
We Osmonds have been BLESSED because of Andy Wlliams and we only wish him and his family and loved ones the VERY BEST OF LIFE FOR ALL ETERNITY!
Please forward this to your family and friends!
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