Popular songs are often associated with the vocalists that made them famous but few artists actually have the distinction of having a "theme" song along the lines of Bob Hope with "Thanks for the Memories." Even fewer can claim to have two theme songs attached to them and Andy Williams is one of those fortunate stars. After "Moon River" became forever linked to Williams, he recorded a holiday song for his first Christmas album that gave him a yuletide hit and theme song. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" was the right song at the right time for Williams when he began to perform it on his highly successful NBC Christmas specials that featured the whole Williams clan. Both the song and the television specials were so memorable, it wasn't long before Williams was crowned "Mr. Christmas." Of course having a full album of wonderful holiday songs perfectly performed doesn't hurt either and the Andy Williams Christmas Album was an instant hit when released in 1963 and has since become a traditional classic. Along with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," Williams cheerfully celebrates with the spirited medley "Happy Holidays/The Holiday Season" and is at his playful best on the irresistibly raucous "Kay Thompson's Jingle Bells." He also wraps his voice around chestnuts like "White Christmas" and "The Christmas Song" with all the warmth of a favorite blanket, while a soaring version of "O Holy Night" is both enchanting and moving. His tender reading of the lesser-known "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" is as beautiful and serene as a crystal clear winter's night, but it is the instantly catchy opening line of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" that people remember the most. It is a fitting theme song not only for Andy "Mr.Christmas" Williams, but for the season as well and a sparkling highlight from a classic holiday album.
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AllMusic Review by Aaron Latham