Such a sad day…

I arrived at VS studios this morning with plans to write up a nice little tribute to Julie London for her birthday.

My early-rising-off-to-work wife texted me the bad news that Andy Williams died last night just as I dropped into my chair.

Immediately my emotional equilibrium faltered … my strength just drained away.

I researched Andy’s life and career for a “come back soon” (from his cancer fight) post last February.

Learning Andy wanted so badly to make it back to his theater in Branson this fall to celebrate his 75th year on stage … well, this was just crushing news.

I don’t have much left…

…in the tank to write up a detailed tribute for Andy right now. There are already a slew on great pieces on Andy’s life out today and many more to come — the man was and remains a giant. Of the early articles, I recommend the AP story from Bob Thomas and Jim Salter (here).

You are going to hear a lot of Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini’s “Moon River”  — Andy Williams’ signature song — over the next few days … and rightly so as this song IS the public personification of Andy Williams.

Knowing Andy’s quest to get back up on stage this year … for me the Andy Williams number that carries the emotion of this day is the iconic Man of La Mancha number — “The Impossible Dream”.

Andy had to share “The Impossible Dream”  with Jack Jones, Matt Monro, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and many others … great versions all but I always thought Andy did the best of all of them on this song.

No Matter how long you live, Life is short…

Tomorrow and for many days, weeks and the years to come “Moon River”, “The Days of Wine and Roses”, “Love Theme from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (A Time for Us)” and all the numbers in Andy’s catalog will remind us of Andy’s joyful life on stage and in song.

But today, it’s these lyrics that carry the emotion of this moment … of having Andy Williams and his music with me my whole life and knowing that now he’s gone.

“The Impossible Dream”

This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To be willing to give when there’s no more to give
To be willing to die so that honor and justice may live

And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest

I’m sorry folks, that’s all I can muster today.

Godspeed Andy Williams.

UPDATE – Per the request of the Williams family, please consider donations to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network as a way to pay tribute to Andy’s life.