Tuesday, October 11, 2016
SHG: Andy Williams: "Can't Get Used to Losing You"
Andy Williams: “Can’t Get Used to Losing You”
Entered the chart on: 3/23/63
Peaked on: 4/13/63
Weeks at #2: 4
Songs at #1: “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons and “I Will Follow Him” by Peggy March
It’s 1963, and we’re only now getting to Andy Williams? Have we hit a time-warp?
People have described Perry Como as being “like your dad singing,” well, that’s precisely how Andy Williams strikes me. Well, perhaps not my dad specifically, he was a terrible singer. But somebody’s dad. And at least Perry Como injected some personality into his singing, and had his Italian heritage to draw upon. All Andy had was a naturally pitch-controlled voice and a collection of conservative sweater vests. He was like the Ward Cleaver of popular music.
While all the other 50s relics kind of faded away, Andy kept on racking up hits into the early 70s. For some reason, his brand of easy listening balladry resonated with people enough to keep buying his records despite the fact that Frank Sinatra he was not. Well, hipsters have glommed onto him a bit on account of the scandalous behavior of his one-time wife, questionably talented chanteuse Claudine Longet. But let us not forget: this is the same man who unleashed the Osmond family on the world.
And yet, I can never count anyone out on this feature. I promised to keep an open mind and I have done so (believe me, I’ll never make fun of Patti Page ever again). And this tune was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, so it must have something going for it. Let’s hope so...
Well, this is more uptempo than I expected. I was anticipating a slushy ballad, but was met with percussive guitar stabs. I guess technically this is a ballad, but it’s awfully uptempo for a song about a guy having trouble dealing with lost love. There’s strings and choir there, but they’re fairly muted and low key. It’s mainly about that guitar and percussion.
The production makes the most of Andy’s voice, double-tracking so he’s harmonizing with himself. He does need some beef there because we’re clearly not going to get a Tony Bennett-level performance out of him, so we need something to keep the listener’s interest.
So, as it turns out, Andy is (rather predictably) the least interesting part of this tune. But it is, nonetheless, interesting. Kudos to producer Robert Mersey for bringing out the best in this record.