Jimmy Osmond celebrates the late, great Andy Williams

Jimmy Osmond
Jimmy Osmond

Jimmy Osmond will be joined by his band on stage to deliver a tribute to his friend and mentor, the late, great Andy Williams.

Moon River & Me will be at Southsea’s Kings Theatre on Thursday, October 20 (tickets on 02392 828282).

The show comes in a special year for Jimmy: 2016 is his 50th anniversary in the music business. He marks it by returning to his roots, with an evening dedicated to Williams.

Award-winning music, nostalgic footage and Jimmy’s own personal memories of Andy are the backbone of the 27-date nationwide tour.

Jimmy, who made his debut at the age of three on the Andy Williams Show, will perform many of the songs that made Williams so popular including Music To Watch Girls By, Happy Heart, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Almost There, May Each Day, Days of Wine and Roses and his theme tune, Moon River.

Jimmy is delighted to be bringing the show to the UK: “You go where you have friends and where you feel accepted. What is lovely is that in the UK I am not just the guy who used to be in that band that used to sing such and such…. You let me do lots of crazy things from jungle to kitchen, from panto to my own shows. You go out there, and you feel a lovely connection.”

Just as he always did with Andy Williams.

“It is lovely to be able to remember the great music that made Andy made famous. I just felt that I had always known him. My brothers were already regulars on his show as the featured act. I was three when I started performing in Las Vegas, and I went and sang Red Roses for a Blue Lady. That was 50 years ago!

“I don’t think I actually remember it. I remember the footage. I think that’s what I remember rather than a specific performance. But I remember being nervous, and my brothers were all working really hard, and I would come out and do my number. I remember my dad licked his hand and fixed my hair. And that’s what I really remember – being mad at my dad for fixing my hair!”

As for Andy Williams, Jimmy remembers being a little scared of him: “My brothers were working so hard to come up with new routines every week to stay on TV because if they didn’t come up with something new, they would not be on the show. They did everything from ice-skating to piano and banjos, and I think that is why they became so good. We were like vaudevillians.

“But we were a little bit intimidated by Andy Williams. He was so classy and so professional. We were pleasers. We really wanted to please him.

“Andy Williams was easy to watch, easy to listen to. And he had such a great voice. He had a style that came from variety. He would do a lot of comedy, and he just had a lot of personality. He just made you feel at ease on stage. Everything he did was classy, but he just made everyone feel comfortable. On stage, he just made everyone feel that they were the star. That was his trick.”

And inevitably Jimmy and his brothers learnt so much: “We just watched everything he did. And he surrounded us with the best, the best choreographers, the best vocal arrangers. We really did learn from the best.

“It was never about being famous. It was about learning our craft that we could carry with us our whole life.”

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