I always thought of “Moon River” as the first space music song. Even in 1961, when Andy Williams recorded it, I knew this was music from another era, but something about Johnny Mercer’s lyrics and Henry Mancini’s sweeping orchestration always suggested something beyond this earth to me. Just now I had a new spacey ambient album by Slow Dancing Society (Laterna Magica) playing on the CD when I put on a youtube video of Andy Williams singing “Moon River.” They flowed perfectly together.
I remember watching the Andy Williams Show with my parents, even the Christmas specials, which The New York Times described as “anodyne and homey.” It wasn’t my music, but I always loved Williams’ genuine friendliness and humility. Even though he apparently went off the deep end politically and joined the Empty Chair crowd, I’ll always remember him as the guy who took us to the moon. He passed away at 84 this past Tuesday. There is a very good obituary in the New York Times.
~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))