Saturday, December 08, 2012

Forgotten Teen Idols: The Williams Brothers

Image via MainStreetMallOnline
Long before the world had heard of Justin Bieber and One Direction, there were Andy and David Williams--nephews of the late Andy Williams (by the way, it's hard to believe this holiday season is the first one without Andy still with us.) These twin brothers are probably best known for their appearance in 1974 on The Partridge Family where they had the hots for Laurie Partridge, played by Susan Dey:


They released a few albums in the 70s--mostly capitalizing on The Partridge Family connection. I actually don't think their songs were bad at all--catchy, upbeat music to make young girls swoon, like this doo-wopish, moderate hit they had called "What's Your Name?"


After the album releases, they seem to have made an awful lot of appearances in the teen mags from the day--but oddly enough, I've never heard any woman who grew up during the era say that they had a crush on these kids or even remember much about them. It seems any popularity at the time was due to their connection to their famous uncle and of course, they appeared on his Christmas television specials. Here's a clip of them performing "Hello Mary Lou" on the 1973 Andy Williams Christmas program:


For young teens, they have surprisingly mature voices compared to some of today's singers in the same age range.

After the limelight died down, the Williams boys did some growing up and studied music. In the 90s, they re-emereged on the music scene and had a 1991 hit called "Can't Cry Hard Enough."

Something interesting to note about the duo is that for the second act of their musical career, they shed the bubblegum pop personas for more serious music--opening shows for Suzanne Vega and Roy Orbison. Critics had good things to say about their work, comparing their harmonies to The Everly Brothers, R.E.M. and Bruce Hornsby--which makes it all the more perplexing why we haven't heard more about them since their teeny bopper years. 

David Williams announced in 1994 that he was gay. As of late, there hasn't been much information about Andy and David Williams. Anyone know what they might be up to these days?

12 comments:

  1. Ah, I remember these guys all too well! Well Pam, being 51 (and a big fan of the Partridge Family) I remember teasing my sister about liking this pair (she was a big David Cassidy fan) but she thought they were creepy--I just thought they were the gayest thing I'd ever seen.

    Dammit, now "Say it again" is stuck in my brain! :)

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  2. LOL...well Doug, I think most guys probably had the same viewpoint that you did, and indeed, one of them actually is gay. I do think they're kind of cute, though--certainly better than Justin Bieber and with catchier songs, too!

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  3. Had forgotten about them. They remind alot of the Keen Brothers.

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  4. In 1996 they played "The Click Brothers" in the movie Grace of My Heart. They didn't have any lines, they just sang. Beautiful harmonies!

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  5. I want to amend my earlier comments about these guys--this past weekend I listened to all their songs (from the 70s and most recent) on Youtube--they did have a good sound, it's a shame things didn't take off for 'em--Tiger Beat sure did their best to help 'em along though!

    I wonder how tall they were--they look about 8 feet tall in some of those videos...

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  6. Even at that time in Belgium we could watch 'the Andy Williams show' and the magazine 'sixteen' was available too. I was only thirteen at that time ... We never heard of Andy Williams or his nephews later on in Europe. Such a shame. I loved them, and still do.

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  7. I saw them on the partridge family. At the time neither Keith not Donny Osmond did it for me. First time I heard these guys play I was in puppy love! I had all their posters up and I read their every interview, Andy was always my favorite (thanks tiger beat). In Massachusetts their music was impossible to find or even order back then. On a whim I decided to look them up and I'm glad I did! Andy is still a cutie pie well they both are!

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  8. Andy is married to a friend of mine. I think the brothers still do the occasional performance now and again.

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  9. I saw them perform in L.A. at the Troubador back in the '90s and I LOVED THEM!! I really wish they were still performing but I'm not sure they are?

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  10. I grew up with twins and they wanted so badly to meet those guys way back when. They thought for sure they would be perfect for them. Ah memories, our moms loved Andy Williams do it was kinda funny that their kids thought the offspring were just as special. I still love popcorn music. Sugar, Sugar was our favorite song to belt out

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  11. Andy and David Williams, David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman, I had a crush on them all. In the 1990's getting married, remodeling a house and adopting a son took precedence over the music scene. It's nice to know the twins made a brief comeback.

    In some ways I liked Andy better, however David had the same bags under his eyes as me. So I had a special connection to him. That made it hard to decide between them.

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