Andy Williams R.I.P. -- Why Some Artists Last So Long

So just exactly why do some artists last so long? The Carol Burnetts, Betty Whites, Tony Bennetts and Andy Williams? Not easy in a culture where ‘new’ seems to be the operative word. In everything from cars, fashions and phones to books, music and comedy.

Surprise! There’s another operative word: ‘Original.’

The opposite of the new is not the old. Watch for ‘original’ in both today’s product advertising and presidential packaging. Used just right, the word ‘original’ has a powerful pull to it. It whispers to the buyer: First of its kind…authentic…unadulterated. Andy Williams was all of these things to millions. Including twenty and thirtysomethings.

The best explanation is the subliminal one — virtually everyone of us feels this tugging back to the familiar. Oh, we say we want change, but mostly we want a safe kind of change. Changes that are not too unfamiliar, not too beyond the reach of our own safety zones. In other words, the ships we most love to sail are the ones that never leave port without some anchors on board.

Amid all the flash and dazzle of the Madonnas, GaGas and Idols, Andy’s safe sounds and soft sweaters every Christmastime made us feel awfully safe, awfully good. These days that’s awfully hard to find

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