Chances are that when Andy Williams released his first holiday album in 1963, he had no idea that his name would soon become synonymous with Christmas. The success of the album along with his Christmas television specials became traditional listening and viewing for many families in the years (and even decades) that followed. In 1965, Williams further enhanced his "Mr. Christmas" moniker by releasing a second seasonal collection, Merry Christmas. Although the album did not contain a definitive hit song like "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," it was another well-rounded set of traditional favorites that became a perfect companion to the Andy Williams Christmas Album. The overall tone of Merry Christmas is a bit quieter than the first album but there are still a few lively moments as in the breezy opening "Sleigh Ride," where an infectious "jing-a-ling, jing-jing-a-ling" is sung behind Williams' satiny voice. "Christmas Holiday" was probably meant to be this set's "Most Wonderful Time," but it never caught on in the same way despite having an exciting arrangement and vocal performance. Williams' dark reading of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music helped to turn the non-holiday oriented song into a Christmas standard while a delicate "Some Children See Him" and the joyous "The Bells of St. Mary's" round out an album that is sung to perfection. Williams would go on to release other holiday collections, but none of them would capture the magical memories created by Merry Christmas and its predecessor. Thanks to good timing, excellent selections, and a voice that makes one feel warm and at home, Andy Williams recorded not just one, but two perennial classics that will be heard for generations to come.
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AllMusic Review by Aaron Latham