Andy Williams rides on a classic car during the 3rd Annual Branson Holiday Promenade of Stars parade on November 9, 2009.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Entertainer Andy Williams, who began his long and illustrious career in 1938 at 11 years old, died on Sept. 25, 2012, at his home in Branson, Mo., surrounded by his family. He was 84.
He earned 18 Gold Records, hosted a network variety show for nine years and the Grammy Awards for seven consecutive years. Beginning in 1966, he sold out Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas for 20 years. For four decades he hosted his annual network Christmas Specials, earning him the nickname "Mr. Christmas."
In 1991, Williams began plans to build the "Moon River Theatre" in Branson, Mo. For more than 20 years, Williams packed the 2,000-seat theater, singing his hits and bringing other star performers to the Ozark Mountains. He is considered a trailblazer in Branson as one of the first non-country music acts to move to the Ozarks.
"We in the motorcoach, travel and tourism industry owe Mr. Williams a huge debt of gratitude, and we thank him for the tireless work he did for more than 20 years to promote Branson, Missouri, as a 'must-see' destination,” said ABA president and CEO Peter Pantuso in a prepared statement.
“His magnificent theater is still one of the most beautiful venues in Branson, winning awards for its spectacular architectural design that blends with the natural terrain of the Ozark Mountains," Pantuso said. "Branson and Andy Williams formed a true partnership, and the motorcoach, travel and tourism industry is proud to have called him a friend. We truly mourn his passing.”
Source: American Bus Association