Long Car Journeys, Andy Williams and “Almost There”

Until I come up with some inspiration for which thread to follow next (might involve the Olympics but not too much Brazilian music amongst the “tracks of my years”), here is the earworm that has been haunting me all week.

I am really lucky in that I don’t have to practically get up in the middle of the night to get to work on time, so my alarm is set for 7.30am. As anyone who listens to BBC Radio 2’s breakfast show will know, right after the news at that time we have a “golden oldie” selected by a listener. To qualify as a golden oldie the track really has to come from the ’50s or ’60s so a bit before my time, but earlier this week there was a lovely story read out about the song Almost There by Andy Williams.

Almost There by Andy Williams:

As summer holiday season is upon us lots of families are embarking on long car journeys with kids piled in the back, and of course it has become a bit of a ritual for the driver to be continually asked, “Are We There Yet?”. The person who had sent in the request, who must have been about my age as this song was a No. 2 hit in the UK in 1964, recalled that their dad always had a copy of the song in their family car and at the appropriate time, when they were not too far from their destination, he put it on. This is just the kind of thing my dad would have done back in the day (had our car been equipped with a more sophisticated sound system that is) so it made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

are we there yet

As anyone who has read my posts will know, I am a bit of a fan of the old easy-listenin’ and any song performed by someone who can sing mellifluously (one of my favourite words) is a winner for me. Andy may not sing quite as mellifluously as Gentleman Jim Reeves or Karen Carpenter but he comes close. Waking up to Almost There earlier this week was quite a treat, like being wrapped up in a warm and cosy duvet (oh that’s right, I was).

I hadn’t realised before that Andy Williams had actually appeared in movies in the 1960s and this song was from the film I’d Rather Be Rich in which he starred along with Sandra Dee and Maurice Chevalier. My memories of Mr Williams are mainly from watching him on television as a child when he always closed his show with Moon River. (More warm and fuzzy feelings about “Huckleberry friends” this time.)

It was also on his show that the world was introduced to a family of brothers called Osmond who entertained us with their barbershop-style singing. In a few years time they would become the most famous boy band in the world but at that time they were happy to don their smart little jackets and bring out a new brother every now and again as they came-of-age. I will no doubt revisit these brothers again at some point as they certainly do feature heavily in the tracks of my years, but for the moment, I think I will listen to the mellifluousness of Almost There, just one more time!

osmond brothers.jpg

Almost There Lyrics
(Song by Jack Keller and Gloria Shayne)

Almost there, we’re almost there
How wonderful, wonderful our love will be
For you, for me

We’re almost there where we will share
A warm caress, tenderness, a dream come true
For me, for you

Love has waited such a long time
Now we’re a kiss apart
Darling, this is the right time
To let the kisses start

For you’re almost mine and soon we’ll find
Our paradise, paradise so rare
Close your eyes for we’re almost there

For you’re almost mine and soon we’ll find
Our paradise, paradise so rare
Close your eyes for we’re almost there

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was recorded for the film of the same name and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might finally work out the answer to his question, "What's it all about?"

2 thoughts on “Long Car Journeys, Andy Williams and “Almost There””

  1. Great stuff, as always. Although I had to look up the word “mellifluously”. My favourite word is disestablishmentarianism. Or maybe filibustering. Or, if I’m honest, flaps. Pretty hard to get any of those into a post though. Anyway, Andy Williams sings my favourite version of a song which I love which is featured on the soundtrack to “Shallow Grave” (to carry on our Danny Boyle conversation from earlier) – Happy Heart. Glorious stuff. He’s a much under-rated croonster in my book. Ever thought about posting the actual song?

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    1. Thanks – the old easy-listening gets a bit of a bashing (never from me) so always nervous about sharing it! Happy Heart and Shallow Grave both excellent – Danny Boyle must have approved of Mr Williams as well. Yes would like to post the actual song but just cracked photos, formatting and video clips so still to crack that one – probably not difficult though and now realise that’s what you serious music buffs do. I’m in it mainly for the nostalgia element so not as important but will see what I can come up with. Yes filibustering – good one but flaps definitely from the Miranda school of favourite words.

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