- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quotes reflecting on the memory of crooner Andy Williams, who died Wednesday in Branson, Mo., after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 84.

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Andy Wiliams‘ smooth voice and casual style turned the songs he sang into timeless classics and made him one of America’s top pop singers. … The entertainment industry has lost a giant piece of its living history today, but Williams‘ legacy will forever be enshrined in the annals of music and television.” _ Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy.

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“We’ve lost a very special man today. He personified to me, for the country, a style of grace, dignity and class with everything he did. … He had an ability to make everything seem balanced and perfect and, you know, we’ve lost a great American treasure.” _ singer Tony Orlando.

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“He was a wonderful person. He befriended me when I was just a teenager starting out in show business, and we remained friends throughout the years. I regret that we didn’t have the chance to spend more time together. He was one of the great voices and great people of our time.” _ Smokey Robinson.

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“He gave me singing advice that I’ve applied to my entire career. He told me, `Don’t take singing lessons. Do breathing exercises.” He would tell me to practice swimming the length of a pool underwater to increase my lung capacity. Because of Andy, I’m able to do power songs like “World Goes Round” in our Las Vegas show.” _ Marie Osmond.

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Andy was a dear friend of mine, and we’ve known each other since we were kids in Cincinnati. He and his brothers sang and of course, so did I, and often I would go over to their house and we would sing together. They asked me to join their group, but my vocal coach thought I should be out on my own and so that’s what I did. Andy and I kept in touch over the years and just recently, even when he was so sick, he wrote to congratulate me on my new CD. He was such a sweet, thoughtful man, and I will miss him dearly.” _ Doris Day.

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“They didn’t understand why Andy, who could live anywhere he wanted to live, would choose a rural community in southwest Missouri. But he enjoyed bringing people in and saying, `Look, here is what I’ve created.’” _ Raeanne Presley, mayor of Branson, Mo., on Williams‘ friends who were puzzled by his decision to settle in the city in the early 1990s and build a theater there.