A good compilation
By Thanks, Andy
This new compilation, released on the same day as his autobiography, is a good sampler of Williams' work on Columbia/Sony. It includes his biggest hits as well as a few lesser known or rare tracks. (Most notably, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" that he sang at the funeral mass for Bobby Kennedy when he was slain.) It is difficult for many today to recall how popular Andy once was. He was a "crossover" artist when rock was beginning to dominate and played a role in making that happen in more ways than one. In his first, now out-of-print autobiography, Clive Davis recounted how he was sweating bullets upon taking over Columbia just as Andy's contract was due for renewal. He was their biggest seller at the time and, as such, was paying the bils for the rock stars that Columbia was embracing, including such legendary artists as Dylan. Williams also was the host of the Grammy awards for the first several years they were telecast and helped cross and merge generational lines in doing so. I can recall watching those telecasts as well as his weekly show when I was growing up. When he did "covers" of popular songs I knew, my parents and I would watch and listen together. They heard some of my music, and I "tolerated" some of theirs. A couple of years ago when he had his final Christmas tour in his 80's, my wife arranged for us to take my parents to see it along with our then "tween" daughter. His voice was still remarkably good for his age. Our daughter "tolerated" it then and may someday appreciate it more. To me, it was a special moment which brought all of us together for a time just like Andy had when I was young. Thanks for the memories, Andy.