Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes
|Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes|
|Studio album by Andy Williams|
|Andy Williams chronology|
Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes is an album by American pop singer Andy Williams that was released in 1962 by Columbia Records. It made its first appearance on Billboard magazine's Top LP's chart in the issue dated May 12 of that year and remained on the album chart for 176 weeks (the longest chart run of any of his albums), peaking at number 3.
The album received Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America on October 14, 1963, and thus became Williams's earliest recording to achieve this honor but not, however, the first to do so. His Days of Wine and Roses and Other TV Requests album, which was released in April 1963, received its Gold certification just one month prior to this one.
Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes was released on compact disc for the first time by Columbia in 1987. It was also released as one of two albums on one CD by Sony Music Distribution on May 15, 2001, the other album being Williams's Columbia album from February 1962, Danny Boy and Other Songs I Love to Sing.
In his autobiography Moon River and Me: A Memoir, Williams describes how Archie Bleyer, the head of his former record label, Cadence Records, had discouraged the singer from recording the song "Moon River" in 1961, assuming that young people wouldn't understand the line "my huckleberry friend". Williams writes, "He thought it was too abstract and didn't think it would be a hit single, so he turned it down." Williams moved on shortly thereafter to Columbia Records, where the powers-that-be loved the idea of an entire album of songs from movies, and he wound up recording the rejected song on January 4, 1962. A few months later he was again offered the chance to sing "Moon River", this time at the Academy Awards on April 9 because of its nomination for Best Original Song. The April 28 issue of Billboard magazine reported that the album had "racked up orders, according to Columbia Records, of close to 40,000 within two weeks' release. Platter was rushed out by the label to coincide with Williams' performance of the Mancini tune on the Academy Awards Show a fortnight ago."
- "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" (Sammy Fain, Paul Francis Webster) – 2:55
- "The Theme from A Summer Place" (Mack Discant, Max Steiner) – 2:38
- "Maria" (Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim) – 3:43
- "Never on Sunday" (Manos Hadjidakis, Billy Towne) – 3:02
- "As Time Goes By" (Herman Hupfeld) – 3:11
- "The Exodus Song (This Land Is Mine)" (Pat Boone, Ernest Gold) – 3:16
- "Moon River" (Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer) – 2:46
- "Tonight" (Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim) – 2:37
- "The Second Time Around" (Sammy Cahn, James Van Heusen) – 3:23
- "Tender Is the Night" (Sammy Fain, Paul Francis Webster) – 3:05
- "It Might as Well Be Spring" (Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers) –3:11
- "Three Coins in the Fountain" (Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne) – 2:55
"As Time Goes By" was originally written for the 1931 Broadway musical Everybody's Welcome. Rudy Vallee first took the song to number 15 that year, but upon the song's inclusion in the 1942 film Casablanca, his version was reissued and spent four weeks at number one. "It Might as Well Be Spring" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for its inclusion in the 1945 film State Fair. The star of the film, Dick Haymes, made just one of the three recordings of the song that entered the charts before the end of that same year: he reached number five, Margaret Whiting's vocal performance with Paul Weston and His Orchestra went to number six, and Billy Williams's vocal performance with Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra made it to number four. Another Best Original Song winner, the title track from 1954's Three Coins in the Fountain, was a number four hit in the US for Frank Sinatra that spent three weeks at number one in the UK, and The Four Aces spent a week with the song at number one in the US and sold over one million copies. The vocal quartet had similar success in 1955 with another Oscar-winning title song,"Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing", this time spending six weeks at number one. "Maria" and "Tonight" both originated in the 1957 Broadway production of West Side Story Johnny Mathis was the first to put "Maria" on the charts, reaching number 78 in 1960. Ferrante & Teicher's instrumental version of "Tonight" reached number eight on the pop chart and spent four weeks at number two on the Easy Listening chart in 1961, while Eddie Fisher's vocal recording reached number 44 pop and number 12 Easy Listening that same year.
Percy Faith's original version of "The Theme from A Summer Place" received Gold single certification from the Recording Industry Association of America and spent nine weeks at number one in 1960. "Never on Sunday" (from the 1960 film of the same name) also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and was a number 19 instrumental hit for Don Costa in 1960 and a number 13 hit for The Chordettes in 1961. "The Exodus Song (This Land Is Mine)" originated as the "Theme of Exodus" on the soundtrack to the 1960 film which won the Academy Award for Best Original Score. Pat Boone reached number 64 in 1961 after adding the lyrics. "The Second Time Around" came from the 1960 Bing Crosby film High Time, and Frank Sinatra took the song to number 50 in 1961. The 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's featured Henry Mancini's recording of "Moon River", which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song as well as Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Both Mancini's and Jerry Butler's versions of the song reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 that same year. "Tender Is the Night" comes from the 1962 film of the same name.
- Robert Mersey – arranger, conductor, producer
- Andy Williams - vocals
- "Moon River & Other Great Movie Themes". allmusic.com. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
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- "Tender Is the Night". imdb.com. Amazon.com. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
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