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Moon River and Me: A Memoir Hardcover – October 13, 2009

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About the Author

Andy Williams has been one of the world's best-loved vocalists and entertainers since he began his professional career nearly seventy years ago. Known as the King of Hearts, the Emperor of Easy, and Mr. Moon River, he divides his time between La Quinta, California, and Branson, Missouri.

From AudioFile

Andy Williams is an all-around-nice-guy--known as much for his sweaters as his smooth singing. His memoir takes nothing away from that image; it just reinforces that the real Andy Williams is a lot like the guy we watched on TV every week from 1959 to 1971. Williams narrates himself, and if he slips up on a few words or occasionally pauses in mid-sentence, it can be forgiven. After all, he's now in his 80s (and still performs at his own theater in Branson, Missouri). Many aspects of his life are fascinating--he talks in heartbreaking detail about being at Bobby Kennedy's side when he was assassinated. He talks about the trial of his ex-wife, Claudine Longet, for the shooting death of her lover. He talks about his tough early years and his rise to television fame. But mainly he talks about his love of music. It's wider than a mile. M.S. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021178
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #902,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By geraldo on October 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a fan of Andy's for over 40 years (I started when I was all of 9 years old) I was thrilled to learn of his autobiography. Andy did not disappoint. He writes a detailed account of his early years (with his family) in Iowa and parts of the mid-west and how the Williams Brothers came to be.

Over the years I had read about Kay Thompson and how she helped develop Andy into becoming a class A entertainer but this book really goes into depths about the relationship.

The book is filled with interesting and funny anecdotes about fellow celebrities and entertainers. But more important than that he delves into his relationships with Robert and Ethel Kennedy and, of course, Claudine Longet - his first wife.

The chapter that includes his recounting of the assassination of Robert Kennedy will bring many to tears when reading it. He opens up, without going too deeply into detail, about his relationship with Claudine and why the marriage failed. He goes into detail however about the Claudine Longet / Spider Sabich shooting incident and his thoughts about it and how it effected him and his family. For fans of Andy, if you think you know all there is to know about him, his book will give you at least a couple of surprises. I know it did me.

After reading the book (1 ½ days) and "digesting it" I was given the sense that this book was a cathartic release for Andy in the writing of it. He reveals a lot about himself and his inner thinking. I was spelled bound by it and couldn't put the book down.

Now for the few things in the book that had me scratching my head in confusion.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Media Junkie on November 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I don't know if Mr. Williams employed "help" or not while writing this, but I was very impressed with his style and description. Unlike another reviewer, I actually found that he was more forthcoming than I expected from an entertainer with such a squeaky clean image: drinking, sex, language, etc. Even the fact that he did not enjoy performing live for so many years. I suspect that some fans in Branson may be shocked, in fact. But what a wonderful life story about an America long since past.

True, I found the chapter regarding Claudine Longet a bit hard to swallow because I find it hard to believe there was never any doubt in his mind that the shooting was an accident. Surely anyone in that situation would have had some questions. But I wasn't there and Mr. Williams was, and this is his account of his life so he is absolutely entitled to his belief and the writing of it. I commend him, actually, for his support of Ms. Longet as the mother of his children.

As with every celebrity memoir, there are several juicy tidbits about other celebrities. But the one I found most telling was his recount of Ethel Kennedy asking him to find a pretty girl to sit next to her husband at a dinner party in order to help him "relax." Hmmm, what to make of that in light of what we know about Bobby Kennedy? In any case, bravo Mr. Williams for a brave and delightful memoir, and for many years of entertainment.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mediaman on July 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
At 300 pages you'd think Andy Williams would have lots of fascinating stories to share about his life and loves, but what this nice guy does is mostly provide a travelogue through his life while diverting attention away from himself via side stories about others.

He tells his story the way you would expect. He acts as if he is decent and mellow, not bragging too much. The problem with that is that he skips so quickly through some of the major moments in his life that he doesn't provide any insight or emotions. It's as if another person has taken a few of Andy's memories and edited them together objectively, stripping them of much passion.

Evidence of this also lies in his constant inclusion of information on others that have nothing to do with his own story. He'll talk about the origins of Milton Berle on TV or a seven-page aside regarding a person named Billy Pearson (who?). He talks a lot about art, says nothing about his kids and provides almost no information on any of his recording sessions or why he chose to sing certain songs. If you're looking for stories about his time with his kids or insights into his recording career you won't find them here.

He drops all sorts of famous names but then fails to provide anything interesting to say about most of them. He spent a week on a yacht with Jackie Kennedy and Ari Onassis but then talked about the boat and said nothing Jackie! Elvis, Sinatra, Sammy Davis--they're all here but never in enough detail.

There are a few titillating bits that he tosses in to make you believe he slept around and did drugs (he admits to flying to Canada to experiment with LSD).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Longorio VINE VOICE on November 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I confess, when I think of Andy Williams my eyelids get heavy. The smooth voiced crooner who hosted a weekly variety show and introduced the world to the Osmonds, is not my musical cup of tea. I play his Christmas albums when appropriate....but other than that no real connection. And that is what makes Andy Williams so fascinating. The effortless musical delivery and easy going charm hid a drive and work ethic that allowed Williams to move away from his humble start in life, his beginnings as part of the Williams Brothers, and even overcome the seeming demise of his career in the 1950's. This was all news to me. With the exception of the murder trial of his ex-wife Claudine Longet for the shooting of her live-in lover, he has stayed out of the tabloids spotlight. His over six decades in show business allowed him to cross paths and work with many of the most talented stars...Judy Garland, Kay Thompson, the Osmonds, Barbara Streisand, Elton John, Jack Lemmon and many others. He was also close to key political figures such as Bobby Kennedy and thier families....and was present when Kennedy was shot.

In his life as in his music, Williams is low key and modest, but don't let that fool you. He was one of the first to see Branson, Missouri as a musical stop and built his theatre there. The writing is easy to read, much like sitting in on a conversation. This was a surprise good read.
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