We are so sad to hear that American singer Andy Williams passed away today, and we send our condolences to his loved ones.
Elton's first ever American television appearance was on The Andy Williams Show, broadcast on Saturday, January 16, 1971 on NBC, as you can see in our archive photo. Elton performed his latest single release, Your Song, solo at the piano. You can see a clip from that show here, or watch Andy Williams talking about having Elton on his show here.
During the summer of 2003 Elton performed one of Andy Williams' greatest hits, Moon River, written by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini. Many fans will remember Elton's fantastic solo concerts on June 17 and 18, 2003, when he sang Moon River against the stunning backdrop of London's Hampton Court Palace.
I Was There: Moon River
Elton's fans remember when Elton played Moon River in England, July 2003
"All Elton concerts are special, but there are some where your senses were heightened so much that your memory can take you back to that evening in great detail. The solo concert at Hampton Court in 2003 is one of those. A truly intimate venue in a courtyard surrounded by historic architecture including those famous ‘candy twist’ chimneys. A small low stage with just that piano, and Elton comes out in a classic cut suit of bright magenta pink and his new ‘spiky’ hairstyle. He then announces that it was going to be a long concert which brought cheers from the audience!
"An intimate solo show is always up there on a fan’s wish list and this was THE best one I have ever been to, no question. Elton had already included some real gems in the set when he introduced Moon River. A real surprise, even to us life long fans, as Elton rarely sings covers. Wow! A moment in time never to be forgotten; spine tingling and emotional and showing just what a great piano player and vocalist Elton is.
"It was a very balmy still night, and this had brought out loads of little insects which danced around the stage lights and annoyingly sometimes tried to get into Elton’s mouth as he sang (I told you such a concert can be remembered in detail !) I stayed on a real high to the end of the concert, which was very long at three hours and I had to run out as Elton sang the last song, Circle of Life, in order to catch my last train home.
"The next day, still on a real high, I just had to see another concert on this solo tour and I called the organisers of the show at Powderham Castle near Exeter and got a ticket for the concert on 22 July. Another great show, and another Moon River moment."
Sandra from South East London, England
"I remember seeing Elton for the first time at Newcastle's (then) Telewest Arena on Sunday 20th July 2003. The solo set was incredible and one of the undoubtable highlights was Elton's amazing cover of Moon River. It is quite unusual for Elton to throw a cover in the set but performing this classic was one of the most memorable parts of the evening. Another highlight of this night for me was Ticking, the final song from the Caribou album - so moving and much underrated among Elton's early stuff! If you have never seen Elton perform solo it is a MUST! I have seen him solo twice now and you really do get to see him as a musician performing in a unique and organic way."
John from Newcastle, England
"Elton's two concerts in the magnificent courtyard at Hampton Court Palace will always be one of my top all time highlights amongst the 130 plus times that I've seen him in concert.
Seeing Elton perform solo in such an intimate setting , is every fan's dream...and these particular shows were fantastic. When Elton sings something "unusual" it is always special, and this was VERY special. There was no hint before the show that Moon River would be on the set-list, so it was a total surprise. Elton's voice boomed around the courtyard and with his sympathetic piano playing its "orchestral" backing, I can say it was a "spine tingling" and moving moment of the very highest. I was lucky enough to go to the concert the following night and hear it again. A great song, a great venue and of course Elton ......a superb moment."
Mark from Surbiton, England
Were you there? If you remember Elton singing Andy Williams' classic song in the summer of 2003 do write to Editor@EltonJohn.com and share your memories.
Elton appearing with Andy Williams and Ray Charles. Photo: The Elton John Archive