Andy Williams was Corn Palace headliner in 1964Singer Andy Williams, who died Tuesday in Branson, Mo., at 84, found time for a stop in Mitchell in 1964, when he performed at the Corn Palace Sept. 20-26.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Singer Andy Williams charmed fans for seven decades with his mellow sound and style.
Williams, who died Tuesday in Branson, Mo., at 84, sold millions of records, appeared on TV for more than 40 years and toured across the country and the world.
He found time for a stop in Mitchell in 1964, when he performed at the Corn Palace Sept. 20-26.
Williams was the headliner for several shows, according to Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling.
“They did the whole week back then,” said Schilling, who has been in charge of the tourism mecca for 12 years.
In those days, the stars toured the community, visited schools and walked through the carnival midway shaking hands and talking with their fans, he said.
A Daily Republic photo from 1964 shows Williams riding the carousel with a then-unknown Donny Osmond, who was 6 at the time and in town to perform as part of The Osmond Brothers.
“They were constantly adding shows, adding them for the daytime and whenever,” Schilling said.
Williams was best known for his songs “Moon River,” the “Love Story” theme and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
Former Davison County Sheriff Lyle Swenson said Williams performed 15 shows in Mitchell. They were the last Corn Palace shows held on the original stage of the building, which opened in 1921.
“I almost always went to the Monday show back then,” Swenson said. “I enjoyed his music. He was a great entertainer.”
Williams said he wasn’t really a show business person.
“Me, I’m introverted and kind of shy,” he told The Daily Republic. “But I guess I keep on singing because I don’t know what else to do.”
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