“Poo... wee... jobs...” a small voice gleefully cries, intermittently interspersed with hysterical giggling. This is the sound of a pre-pubescent me recording over one of my Dad's Andy William cassettes. If you listen carefully in the background you can hear a justifiably angry Old Dear shouting, “Are you recording over my Andy Williams tape?”
Back in those days I wasn't a huge fan and was more interested in saying “naughty” words than listening to his music. Fast-forward to the mid-90s and the release of Danny Boyle's excellent big screen debut, Shallow Grave. Aside from introducing me to Ewan McGregor, Shallow Grave helped me to understand my dad's earlier enthusiasm for Andy and prompted the beginnings of my vinyl collection. I have many happy memories of sitting in a friend's car or hanging out in another friend's barn belting out Happy Heart.
Last year, The Boy and I contemplated visiting Andy's Moon River Theatre in Branson for his annual Christmas concert. Although we knew he'd recently been diagnosed with bladder cancer, we thought being Andy, he was indestructible. Branson is far off our ideal North American travel route and pretty tricky to get to. On hearing about Andy's recent demise, I'm gutted we never made it but at the time it just wasn't practical. I can't believe I've seen other crooners like Tony Bennett live doing the festival circuit but not Andy. I'll forever regret not seeing one of my musical heroes but I'm at least comforted by a whole array of fond memories sound tracked by the man. RIP Andy.