The four Williams Brothers—Bob, Don, Dick and Andy Williams—formed a singing quartet in the mid-1930s in Wall Lake, Iowa. Their father, Jay Williams, managed and promoted the group. They entertained on radio stations, first at WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, and later at WLS in Chicago and WLW in Cincinnati, before they moved to Los Angeles in 1943, where they were under contract with the MGM film studio. The Williams Brothers appeared in Janie (1944), Kansas City Kitty (1944), Ladies' Man (1947), and Something in the Wind (1947).
They also 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. The act was staged by MGM choreographer, Robert Alton. They toured night-clubs and cabarets in the United States and internationally with great success and appeared on radio and television establishing a loyal cult following with their jazz-based harmonies and flamboyant performance style. The act broke up in 1951 and the brothers went separate ways, appearing annually on The Andy Williams Christmas Special from 1962 through the 1990s.