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Andy Williams

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Howard Andrew Williams (born December 3, 1927 in Wall Lake, Iowa, died September 26, 2012), known as Andy Williams, is an American singer.

He first performed in a children’s choir at his local Presbyterian church. Williams and his three older brothers Bob, Dick, and Don, formed a quartet, The Williams Brothers, in the late 1930s. The brothers performed on radio in the Midwest, first at WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, and later at WLS in Chicago and WLW in Cincinnati. Williams graduated from Western Hills High School in Cincinnati. They appeared with Bing Crosby on the hit record “Swinging on a Star” (1944). This led to a nightclub act with entertainer Kay Thompson from 1947 to 1951.

Williams’s solo career began in 1952 after his brothers left the act. He recorded six sides for RCA’s label “X,” but none of them were popular hits. After landing a spot as a regular on Steve Allen’s Tonight Show in 1955, he was signed to a recording contract with Cadence Records, a small label in New York run by conductor Archie Bleyer. His third single, “Canadian Sunset” (1956) hit the Top Ten, and was soon followed his only Billboard #1 hit, “Butterfly” (a cover of a Charlie Gracie record on which Williams imitated Elvis Presley). More hits followed, including “The Hawaiian Wedding Song,” “Are You Sincere,” “The Village of St. Bernadette,” and “Lonely Street,” before Williams moved to Columbia Records in 1961, having moved from New York to Los Angeles.

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