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Moon River and Me: A Memoir

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  267 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
A remarkable memoir by one of the most popular and beloved entertainers of the twentieth century

When in the mid-1950s Andy Williams reached a low point in his career, singing in dives to ever-smaller audiences, the young man from Wall Lake, Iowa, had no inkling of the success he would one day achieve. Before being declared a national treasure by President Ronald Reagan, W
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Viking Adult
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Oct 06, 2014 GoldGato rated it liked it

What happens in Oslo, stays in Oslo.

That is why I purchased this memoir by Andy Williams. While I had heard his music and knew him as a famous singer, it was an appearance he made on the radio show, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me that had me looking at him in a different way. The boyish tenor had a sense of humor? Okay, let me read about that.

Williams does not spend the book dissing his peers or going on too much about himself. The reader discovers that Andy never had great confidence and he mostly d
Jan 20, 2013 Jason rated it liked it
As a big Andy Williams fan, I was excited to hear that he had written an autobiography.

I thought that the book overall was good - talked a lot about his personal life, and especially his early professional career.

I found however, that the details were lacking - he talked about certain aspects of his life and career, but often did not go into great detail - more of a "on the surface" approach.

This is probably fine for most readers, but I am one who likes to know all of the little details - go mor
Debra Pawlak
Feb 21, 2017 Debra Pawlak rated it it was amazing
Reading this memoir was like reconnecting with an old friend. I grew up with Andy Williams and his music. We welcomed him into our living room week after week for many years. This book was very well written with a sense of humor, as well as humility. Williams chronicled his early life as a member of the singing Williams Brothers who toured with Kay Thompson, his failed marriage to Claudine Longet and the many famous people that he hobnobbed with throughout his long career. I found especially riv ...more
Sep 26, 2012 Rick rated it it was amazing
"If I'm remembered at allI hope to be thought of as a good man who brought much joy to many people, but above all I want to be remembered for my music. Whatever happens to me, I hope the music lives on"........Andy Williams, from the closing paragraph of his very wel-written and highly entertaining autobiography.

I had heard a few weeks ago that Andy Williams was not expected to live more than a could more weeks, and it prompted me to pick up his 2009 autobiography and read about a guy whose musi
Apr 30, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I sort of thought Andy Williams was "old", when I was a child, and I didn't see his TV shows since back in the 60's we had only 1 TV, and this wasn't my father's choice. I knew that Andy Willams was born in Wall Lake, IA, but I didn't know he had three older brothers, and his father sensed their singing ability, and formed a musical group and had them singing and dancing every day after school. He was really similar to Michael Jackson's father, but he was not at all m ...more
Lee Miller
May 27, 2013 Lee Miller rated it really liked it
Call me silly and sentimental, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. It begins with a very well-written account of his childhood, and then becomes more of a “and then I did this” series of lists. What he did, however, was interesting and often enlightening, whether it was his analysis of the way the radio performers union created modern radio disc jockeys, his close friendship with Bobby and Ethel Kennedy, his stories about golfing buddies like Fred MacMurray, his reinvention of Branson as a high-end ( ...more
Dale Stonehouse
Sep 25, 2012 Dale Stonehouse rated it really liked it
As Williams highlights his long career as a mainstream pop artist, he describes events and acquaintences (Sinatra, Crosby, Dean Martin among them) that are uncommon at any level. A little bland at some points, especially his account of his Branson theater, nonetheless his is a great story of going from middle America to the highest show-business circles. Of particular interest for me was his friendship with Bobby and Ethel Kennedy, offering some inside glimpses of the Kennedy family. One surpris ...more
Stephen Osborne
Mar 18, 2010 Stephen Osborne rated it liked it
I don't read many biographies/autobiographies, but I do enjoy finding out how people start out and how they get to be whatever they are know for. I also enjoy when you get to know how the person thinks, how they feel, etc. Moon Rive and Me is an fairly enjoyable read, but you never really feel like you're getting to know Andy Williams. The chapters dealing with his friendship of Bobby Kennedy are the most passionate, but other sections come off rather distant. When we were kids, The Andy William ...more
Mar 03, 2012 Roderick rated it it was ok
A *lot* of namedropping. You might be forgiven for thinking that Andy was present for the invention of the telephone, penicillin, and the discovery of the human genome, based on the way he tells it, but it's an interesting story of his long and varied life in music. Apparently, he was present at the assassination of Robert Kennedy, and accompanied the family back east, and then performed at the funeral. Amazing. But nothing can take away from the Eight Wonder of the World that is his singing voi ...more
Feb 28, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read. My biggest memories of Andy Williams we're seeing his Branson Christmas show toward the end of his life. I really didn't understand how big of star he was in the 60's and 70's until I read his many stories in his memoir. I thought it was a very well written book and rich with stories about the stars of the 50's, 60's and 70's.

Williams was honest about his failures in life and was shared in a tasteful manner of his various "involvements" over the years.

If your a fan of mi
Nov 13, 2009 Ramona rated it really liked it
As a young girl I remember my family sitting together enjoying the Andy Williams Show. Williams life so far is well told here sharing his humble beginnings & hard work instilled by his father which eventually led to his great success. I learned many interesting things about his life & the many close friendships he had such as Bobby Kennedy & John Glenn. Andy Williams speaks frankly about the ups & downs he has experienced in his life & the contentment & pure pleasure he h ...more
Dec 18, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it
I have always loved Any Williams! Many of the events in his life, I remember so well as they happened. It was interesting to know the inside stories of those events along with so many I didn't know anything about. Good easy read and an interesting peek inside the life of one who has sacrificed much for the musical success and money. It's good to know that he is finally happy and enjoying life. I've seen him perform twice when he was touring and I'd love to go see him one more time before he hang ...more
Jo-Ann Murphy
Aug 06, 2013 Jo-Ann Murphy rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This was a pleasant read. Andy Williams led a very interesting life and there were lots of stories about other entertainers and famous people.

He talked extensively about his three marriages and the shooting incident involving his ex-wife Claudine Longet.

Many of the stories he just recounted. I would have enjoyed it more if he had expressed more of his feelings and impressions about the incident being related. But it was still a nice light read that makes me wish I had gotten to see his theater a
Pauline Barlow
Oct 23, 2016 Pauline Barlow rated it really liked it
I found the times when he was emotionally involved much more interesting than when he just said what happened and when. His close relationship and admiration of Bobby Kennedy was so sincere and moving. His deep feelings when he wrote about Claudine came through, as did his relationship with Kay Thompson. He could have gone into more detail at times. I have since learned that he was confused as to dates when some things happened. He is also a name dropper.
But what a life for a kid from a small t
Linda Klager
Dec 07, 2016 Linda Klager rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading about the life of Andy Williams. He also included stories of his parents and his brothers. I thought the book was very well written. I admired Andy for his determination to keep going during the lean years. I have been to his Moon River Theater in Branson, MO and noticed how well his theater was designed. So glad that this venue is still continuing to provide good entertainment since Andy's death.
Jul 30, 2012 Dianne rated it really liked it
This book was difficult to stay with at first but then it got really good. Andy was a good friend with Bobby Kennedy and his stories about him were touching. He and his wife, Claudine, were with Bobby and Ethel the night Bobby was shot. His stories of racial discrimination of Sammy Davis Jr were think Lincoln freed the slaves and how Sammy was treated in the 60s yet. Andy Williams was my idol; I loved his music and really enjoyed his biography.
Lisa Gregor
Nov 22, 2009 Lisa Gregor rated it really liked it
I have always liked Andy and found the book entertaining. After reading this memoir, I have a feeling he isn’t (or wasn’t) as lily-white as I once thought, which I think made the book even more entertaining for me. The gossip about other entertainers, his celebrity friendships and views on his ex’s shooting fiasco was extremely entertaining. I appreciated his “rags to riches” success story and would recommend to any Andy fan.
Mar 15, 2013 Kay rated it liked it
I read this book because Moon River is one of the greatest songs ever written and Andy Williams voice at Christmas is part of the holiday. The story of how he bacame famous and his early days in television was interesting. But then it became a series of where he went and who he knows and of course dropping the first wife to start dating women 20-30 years his junior - boring. Forgot about the whole Claudine -Spider scandal - that was a good chapter.
Better to listen to his music.
Linda Lipko
May 06, 2010 Linda Lipko rated it did not like it
This is a lack luster autobiography by Andy Williams. It was a fluffy book for a Sunday when I was tired. He threw around lots of names and events -- the Kennedys, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and a host of others. It appeared like pathetic name dropping.

I read the book quickly. I always liked the squeaky clean image and his voice, thus reading this wasn't a total waste.

But, I cannot recommend the book at all.
Bonni Sweet
Dec 16, 2013 Bonni Sweet rated it liked it
Not a bad book. I was hoping there would be a little bit more information on what his ex-wife went through with the skier but it was a good read. I didn't realize that he came from an entertainment family. I loved that he helped the Osmond's start out as someone had helped him and his brothers do the same. I enjoyed the book.
Apr 07, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
For anyone who is a fan of Andy Williams, the singer, who made Moon River famous, this book is for you. From his upbringing in Rural Iowa to his Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, this book is all about Andy Williams. Relive some of the great memories of his songs and the people hes met through the years.
Jan 04, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who remembers the Christmas specials!
Shelves: memoir-biography
Pretty interesting life story. Sometimes just some random tales of other celebrities thrown in, but they do give a picture of the times and the craziness of celebrity life. Says some nice things about Michael Jackson, among others. Overall a pleasant walk down memory lane and the surrounding context.
Dec 26, 2010 Donna rated it really liked it
Very hood bio on a wonderful musician and entertainer I grew up listening to. It is interesting to learn about the innocence of the early part of his life in the mid west, and the various entertainers he met along the way. Good lessons to be learned, as always with a bio. I couldn't believe Mr. Williams is now!
Nov 03, 2009 Su rated it it was ok
I was a rabid Andy Williams fan when all my friends loved the Beatles and the Stones! I have all his albums and love his voice. Somehow, none of that transferred itself to this book. I found it to be rather self serving and self congratulatory. I would rather just think of him the way I did when I was 15!
Nov 10, 2009 Terri rated it it was ok
Not sure I can recommend purchasing this book. If you like Andy Williams you'll find it somewhat interesting, but it's written as though it's a report and it's extremely superficial. You never really feel as though you "know" the real Andy Williams. It's monotone and somewhat boring. The only really interesting parts are when he's gossiping about some well-known "friends" of his.
Oct 13, 2011 Olympia rated it it was ok
This book is so not interesting. I hate to return books to the library half read, but I've been at this for almost a month now and I'm still on page 170 ugh. 10/16/2011 I finished it. Ugh I don't think I will be reading any bio's any time soon. I need some brain fluff now.
Feb 23, 2013 Brittany rated it it was amazing
This story could not be told any better. Every time I sat down to read this book, I felt like I was have a sit down with Andy himself. There is such an easy flow to his story telling. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read an amazing life story of a true artist.
May 23, 2015 Cathy rated it liked it
I remember The Andy Williams show from my childhood. I thought he was just a nice "boy next door". While he was a nice person with good Midwestern values, l discovered that he was much more than that. This is a pleasant read about an interesting man.
Nov 18, 2009 Woc247 rated it really liked it
The sweet memories of childhood this book conjures up were delightful. Andy's Christmas show was an event in my house growing up. I recently had the chance to visit Andy's theatre in Branson, MO and saw the Christmas show live on stage. At 82,Andy's still has it. Great Read
Jul 26, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable reading. I was surprised to learn how hard he and his family had to work for their success. I felt that he was very willing to share the bad and good times of his life. Having recently attended his Christmas Show at Branson promoted my interest in his memoir. 11/2010
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