Andy Williams

Danny Boy and Other Songs I Love to Sing

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When Andy Williams traded up from independent Cadence Records to major label Columbia in 1961, the tiffany label started him out with a revival of the Irish standard "Danny Boy," seemingly an odd choice for a debut release that nevertheless managed to get into the singles charts and led to the commissioning of a full-length LP. Recorded in four sessions in November, the album had no particular theme except that it was a collection of well-known romantic ballads given lush string arrangements, over which a heavily echoed Williams sang in his rich, warm voice. He was, in truth, at an in-between stage in his career when Columbia scooped him up, no longer scoring Top Ten singles but not yet established as an album artist, despite the quality of his final Cadence effort, Under Paris Skies. This album was not in the same league as that one, but it was an entertaining collection combining 1950s hits like "Tammy" with high-quality show tunes like the two selections from Brigadoon, "Come to Me, Bend to Me" and "The Heather on the Hill." Williams became unusually emotive on "Summertime," but otherwise settled for being calmly engaging, suggesting that Columbia may have found its answer to RCA Victor's Perry Como. His career took off after he sang "Moon River" at the Oscar ceremony and released it on his second Columbia LP, Moon River & Other Great Movie Themes, less than three months after this one; later in 1962, he launched his own network variety series. That career ascent helped Danny Boy and Other Songs I Love to Sing to a respectable chart life, even if it was basically just along for the ride. It is not one of Williams' great albums, but it features some excellent performances of well-known tunes.