It's Andy And Swinging Friends Here Tuesday
The San Diego Union
Sunday, January 26, 1969
Practically all that’s known for sure about the Andy Williams show is that it’s scheduled to turn the Civic Theater into a glittering star capitol at 8:30 Tuesday night.
What stars will be involved is the secret of Williams’ office, which is making no commitments as to who is coming to do what, although the names of Bob Hope, Peggy Lee, Glen Campbell, the Lennon Sisters, the Osmonds Brothers, Henry Mancini, Phil Harris, Danny Thomas, Dick Shawn, and Jim Backus have all been tossed out.
“But we can only hint at these,” says Shelley Saltman, Williams’ personal manager. “These people will be coming down there to play golf and not to do a show, although we are sure that 95 and 44-100 per cent of them will be among the entertainers.”
The show is being publicized as “Andy and His Friends,” because the stars have asked that their names not be used in advance, says Saltman.
Williams hopes to raise $100,000 benefiting the Salk Institute of Biological Studies by combining the Civic Theater show and San Diego Open Golf Tournament in a production similar to last year’s “Andy Tonight” show and $165,000 competition at Torrey Pines. The 1968 benefit, staged in February, raised $80,000 for the Salk Institute where an Andy Williams Fund was established this year to support cancer research and outstanding young scientists.
Entitled “Andy Tonight” the 1968 presentation ivolvved Williams and a substantial list of Hollywood’s Beautiful People in a musical variety show, the first half of which consisted of Henry Mancini leading his orchstara through popular tunes, many of his own composition.
Jack Benny, Danny Thomas, Bob Hope and the Osmond Brothers all made appearances on stage and Williams sang a representative segment of his most memorable recordings including “Born Free,” “More,” “Moon River” and “Somewhere.”
Tuesday night’s show will last for 2 ½ hours, Saltman said, “and will involve a 32-piece orchestra conducted by Allyn Ferguson who performed in a similar capacity during the final season of Williams’ now defunct television show. Lighting and stage effects will be Jerry Grollneck, who handles all of Williams’ road shows as those of Sergio Mendes, Bill Cosby, Tiny Tim, and Herb Alpert. Williams also intends to equip the theater with $40,000 worth of his own sound equipment for the show.
Susan St. James, star of the “Name of the Game” television series and queen of the San Diego tournament, will greet guests at the theater entrance where a band from San Diego State and klieg lights also will contribute to the gala.
“During the past year I have done more than 200 shows around the world, most of them one-nighters,” says Williams. “But I think of no show I have ever done which gives me more pride and satisfaction than the one I do annually in San Diego.”
Williams currently is working on television specials to be shown in April and March before he leaves for a two- month tour of Japan and Australia. He plans to begin putting together a new weekly television show in June to start televising in October.
The format will be “new and different,” according to the Williams office, but as to exactly what it will look like, that, too, is being kept secret.