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Honey / Happy Heart

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Album Review

Andy Williams' successive LP releases of 1968 and 1969, Honey and Happy Heart, are well-paired on this two-fer CD reissue. At this point in his career, the versatile Williams, who had found his greatest success covering movie theme songs, but also ranged from light rock to venerable standards, was completely devoted to recording his versions of current hits. It was a popular notion at the time that middle-of-the-road singers like him could maintain their popularity by turning to soft rock, and Williams proved that theory by reaching the Top Ten and earning gold records with these LPs, which featured his versions of songs better known in recordings by Glen Campbell, Simon & Garfunkel, the Association, the 5th Dimension, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and others. Williams changed the original arrangements only slightly; the big difference for his fans was that it was his voice they heard. Some of this material is clearly inappropriate, such as the slangy "Spooky" ("Love is kinda groovy with a spooky little girl like you"?), and some it is so closely associated with the original recordings that Williams couldn't do much with it. But he did well, as ever, with European imports like "Love Is Blue," "My Way," and his own hit "Happy Heart," and he had a good feel for the songs penned by Jimmy Webb, "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Up, Up and Away," "Where's the Playground Susie?," "Wichita Lineman," and "Didn't We." Also, his rendition of "Abraham, Martin and John," a tribute to his friend Robert F. Kennedy, was clearly heartfelt. Still, this album, which could be subtitled "Andy Williams Sings the Late '60s," presents only one side of his talent.


Born: 03 December 1928 in Wall Lake, IA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An engaging crooner, TV personality, and entrepreneur, Andy Williams was one of the most bankable and popular singers of his era. With his laid-back delivery, supple voice, and amiable charm, Williams rode a wave of success that took him from a childhood vocal act with his brothers to worldwide fame as a solo artist, eventually finding latter-day success as a theater impresario in Branson, Missouri. Though he started out as a crooner in the post-Frank Sinatra style, his wide-ranging taste in music...
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