Andy Williams

Million Seller Songs

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In 1961, Andy Williams left Archie Bleyer's independent record label Cadence for the major label Columbia Records, and in 1962 his career exploded with the album Moon River & Other Great Movie Themes and the premiere of his regular season network television series The Andy Williams Show. Naturally, Bleyer tried to capitalize on his former employee's success. The hits compilation Andy Williams' Best, released in March 1962, was a commercial success, and Cadence followed it in November with Million Seller Songs. For the album, the label surveyed Williams' recordings of 1956-1961 for songs that had been gold records for other performers. Drawing from Williams' singles and from the LPs Two Time Winners, Lonely Street, Under Paris Skies, The Village of St. Bernadette, and Andy Williams Sings Steve Allen, Cadence came up with Williams' versions of such major hits as "Autumn Leaves," "It's All in the Game," and "Love Letters in the Sand." Williams' first big hit, "Canadian Sunset," was included, but only because Hugo Winterhalter's instrumental version had been a million seller. The only possible ringer was Williams' own biggest hit, "Butterfly," never certified for a million sales, though the liner notes claimed it had actually sold two million. Much of the album was in the smooth ballad style of Williams' recent work, and though it did not achieve the success of a new Columbia set, Million Seller Songs spent more than nine months in the charts, while Cadence even got a minor singles chart entry out of "Twilight Time."

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