Why Andy Williams is the underrated King of Christmas music

22 December 2023, 13:00

Andy Williams' TV specials were a joy
Andy Williams' TV specials were a joy. Picture: NBC/Andy Williams

By Tom Eames

Andy Williams was one of the greatest singers of his generation, and he was also a regular TV star in the States.

The American singer recorded 43 albums in his career, first emerging in the 1940s alongside his brothers as The Williams Brothers.

By the 1950s, Andy Williams had broken out as a solo performer, and his rich and smooth vocals won him fans around the world. He could sing anything and make it sound beautiful.

As the 1960s rolled around, Andy Williams joined other singers such as Bing Crosby and Johnny Cash in having his own regular TV variety specials.

Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (Music Video)

While the usual shows were relatively popular in America, it was his Christmas editions that would live long in the memory.

Andy's voice lended itself so well to Christmas music. He could sing belters that would become future standards like 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year' and 'Happy Holidays', and he could also sing gorgeous ballads like 'White Christmas' and 'Silent Night'.

Andy ended up recorded eight Christmas albums over the years, and was known as 'Mr. Christmas' due to his specials, as well as the success of 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year'.

His first Christmas special came in 1967, and he went on to record five more over the next six years. It were these specials (and compilation editions) that would be shown in the US and UK for decades.

Highlights included teaming up with his brothers and their proteges The Osmonds on a jaunty 'Happy Holidays/The Holiday Season':

The Osmond Brothers sing with the Williams Brothers

An example of Andy stripping it back and showcasing his powerful vocals were on the lesser known carol 'Some Children See Him':

♥♪♫ Some Children See Him ♫♪♥

'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year' has gone on to become one of the best-selling Christmas songs ever, and returns to the UK singles chart every December.

Andy Williams sadly died in 2012 aged 84 from cancer, but his legacy lives on as his songs and TV specials still return to people's homes every year.

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