Andy Williams - May 20, 2014

The American Treasure Tour blog has been waiting for just the right time to headline one of the best-known American singers of the last five decades, Andy Williams.  We know you have been anxious to learn a little something something about the popular crooner, too.  So, after much consideration, we have decided to spend a little time telling you about him and, of course, his Christmas Album!  No better time for that than May 20th.  There ARE only 219 days left before Christmas!

Howard Andrew Williams was born in Iowa, into a singing family in 1927.  In fact, he was only eleven when the Williams Brothers Quartet made it onto the local radio station.  After moving to Los Angeles, the family sang backup to Bing Crosby and appeared in a few movies.  Partnering with singer Kay Thompson proved a boon for the Brothers, and they became very popular.  Kay also helped start Andy's career as a solo musician.  Many hits followed, including most famously "Moon River."  His popularity soared, and he became one of the best-selling artists of the 1960's, alongside Elvis, Frankie, and Johnny Mathis.  The Andy Williams Christmas Album came out in 1963, the first of eight Christmas-themed albums he would release.  This album included the hits "White Christmas" and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

QUESTION:

Which other song was also on this classic 1963 album?

a)  "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"

b)  "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

c)  "Silver Bells"

d)  "The Little Drummer Boy"

e)  "Winter Wonderland"

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

The great American tragedy of the Civil War dominates all recollection of Abraham Lincoln's time as the President of the United States.  However, he accomplished a number of other things, as well.  For one, he admitted the states of Nevada and West Virginia into the union.  For another, he signed into law the Homestead Act of 1862,  In fact, he did that on May 20th of that year! The Homestead Act opened up unsettled land to ambitious Americans. They were not required to pay for it, although they did have guidelines:  the homesteader could not have taken up arms against the federal government, they had to be at least 21-years old or the head of a family, and they had to actually live on - and improve - the land they claimed.  

Many important things happened through history on May 20th, but none with as profound an impact on the American public as what occurred today in New York City, in the year 1899.  His name was Jacob German, and he drove a taxi in that great, bustling city.  He was driving like a maniac - going twelve miles per hour down Lexington Street - when he was stopped by law enforcement.  He has the proud distinction of being the first American to ever receive a ticket for speeding.

BIRTHDAYS:

Today, we celebrate the life of Cherilyn Sarkisian.  Born today in 1946, it is difficult to believe that Cher is turning 68!  Cher's childhood could hardly be described as ideal.  Her mother had a habit of marrying and divorcing and marrying again.  Rarely was home a place of comfort for the naturally-creative young girl who would become a guiding voice of the 1960's and 1970's.  At 18, she married Sono Bono.  For ten years, the duo recorded popular music and hosted their own television show, before Cher went solo in 1975.  During her career, she has won an Academy Award (for her performance in 1988's Moonstruck), a Grammy, an Emmy, and three Golden Globes.

The ATT blog takes every opportunity it can to honor the birthdays of Presidents and First Ladies.  Well, today, we are going to branch out a little and wish a happy birthday to the son of a president!  Ronald Prescott Reagan, "Ron," was born today in 1958 to his favorite actor/politician father and mother, Nancy Davis Reagan.  Ron tended to get into trouble, and was expelled from school once, withdrew from Yale (to concentrate on ballet), and has the distinction of - thus far - being the only child of a United States president to host Saturday Night Live. He is currently a commentator and contributor to MSNBC, the cable news network.

QUOTE:  We have three cats.  It's like having children, but there's no tuition involved.  - Ron Reagan

Answer:  d) "The Little Drummer Boy" is the only one of these tracks on The Andy Williams Christmas Album.  All the others are on his 1965 album Merry Christmas.