Glenn talks with Andy Williams


The Andy Williams Christmas Album

GLENN: Probably one of my biggest memories of Christmas -- I can't even say this. I don't even know how to describe it. Whenever I think of Christmas, Andy Williams is in that memory. Some way or another. And it's this. Who doesn't think of Christmas with Andy Williams? Andy Williams is still going. What was he? Four when he was doing these? Andy Williams is on the phone with us now. Hello, sir.

WILLIAMS: What do you mean I'm still going?

GLENN: You were like four when you started singing this stuff.

WILLIAMS: I started singing when I was about seven on the radio. But I've been singing a long time.

GLENN: I'm sure you know this, but you are -- really, everybody, Pat is my radio writer and partner and we were just talking about this the other day. We think of Christmas -- when we think of Christmas we think of you.

WILLIAMS: Isn't that nice?

PAT: We grew up on your Christmas music.

GLENN: And Christmas specials and anything else.

WILLIAMS: I'm doing my Christmas show now here. I did a show last night.

GLENN: Was it in Los Angeles or in Branson?

WILLIAMS: Los Angeles.

GLENN: In Los Angeles.

WILLIAMS: I do one tonight here.

GLENN: Where are you?

WILLIAMS: In Cerritos. Do you know where Cerritos is? I guess it's in Orange County.

GLENN: What's your Christmas special like now?

WILLIAMS: I start off with the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. We have a wonderful band. Everything sounds luscious and wonderful and Christmasy. And the audiences are wonderful when they come to see a Christmas show. Everyone is in a good mood and everybody's happy and everybody comes here to hear me sing and have a good time. And I have a lot of help. I have a wonderful orchestra. Wonderful singers and dancers. Great comedians. It's a very happy show.

GLENN: Don't mind my saying your age, you're 82 years old.

WILLIAMS: We don't tell anybody that.

GLENN: Okay. I'll take that back. Stations edit that out. I mean, you don't sound it. I mean, what's the secret here, Andy?

WILLIAMS: I don't know what it is. But I'm just blessed with being able to sing at this age and still sound decent.

GLENN: So how did you -- because you're also known for -- you were huge, Moon River, everything else. How did you get -- how did you become Mr. Christmas?

WILLIAMS: I started doing Christmas shows on my regular television series, which started in 1962. And I did Christmas shows every year for nine years. And then NBC asked me to continue on with the Christmas shows, even though the regular season was over. I mean, the regular series was over. So I must have done 14 years of Christmas shows on television. And during that time I recorded six different Christmas albums. So I am sort of entrenched with Christmas.

Moon River and Me


by Andy Williams

GLENN: You have a book out.

WILLIAMS: Book called Moon River and Me. The story of my life. My son Bobby said to me one day, "Pop, if you're going to write this book you better get going."

GLENN: What is the story of your life?

WILLIAMS: Starting with my brothers singing on the radio when I was seven. And then traveling -- my father's desire, his passion, was to have his four boys become radio stars. And so he got us on the radio in Des Moines, Iowa, on WHO.

GLENN: Wow.

WILLIAMS: Then moved on to Chicago and then Cincinnati and out to California. And then got us in the movies. He was the driving force behind the Williams Brothers.

GLENN: If you had to look back at your life, what would you say, first of all, what was the thing that stood out in your early career where you said, "Wow, I can't believe I did or I met this person or that event or," what was the thing early on.

WILLIAMS: One was making a record with Bing Crosby. I was four years old. My brothers and I were asked to sing this song called, what was the song? Swinging on a Star. And it became a big hit for Bing. Then the big thrill for me was about 20 years later on my own television show sitting on a stool next to Bing Crosby singing to us, it was really something.

GLENN: Do you know who Michale Buble is?

WILLIAMS: Yes.

GLENN: Have you ever met him.

WILLIAMS: No I've never met him. Very good singer.

GLENN: Very nice man. I just did an hour with him that's going to air next week on television. And we were talking. And he was talking about Christmas music. This is back stage before we started. And he said, you know, everybody wants him to make a Christmas album. He said if it's not Bing Crosby or Andy Williams, I can't do it. He was influenced by you and he said to me that it was the white Christmases of the world that first got him into singing.

WILLIAMS: Is that right?

GLENN: Yes.

WILLIAMS: He's a very good singer. I'm glad there's somebody coming along, some young cat that can carry a tune.

PAT: There aren't that many, are there?

WILLIAMS: There really aren't a lot. When the singer/songwriter came about, 20, 30 years ago, when the Beatles did their things and Elvis did his thing, it became something else. It was no longer Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett and Andy Williams. It was a singer/songwriter. And so the musicality of the singing sort of left. And now Buble is coming back and is doing the same kind of things that Sinatra and I did, Bennett and Johnny Mathis, of just singing.

GLENN: I'm just looking -- I'm just reading this here about Moon River and Me, and I mean, the story of your ex-wife is in here. Bobby Kennedy. Ronald Reagan. Judy Garland. John Houston. Jack Lemmon, Howard Hughes. What was Howard Hughes like?

WILLIAMS: Howard Hughes, shall I say, reclusive.

GLENN: You think? (Laughing)

WILLIAMS: I never met him. I got messages from him but I never met him. I was getting the messages from him from a guy named Bob Mahew, supposed to be the guy who was really his right-hand man. It turned out that Bob Mahew never met him either. He just got all the messages under the door.

GLENN: What were the years you were getting messages from him?

WILLIAMS: That was early in the '60s. But that was -- he wanted me to come and work at one of his hotels. And I was signed to stay, work at Caesars Palace.

GLENN: What was Elvis like?

WILLIAMS: He was wonderful. I didn't know him terribly well. I met him three or four times. He came back stage to see me at Caesars Palace. It was really funny because all my musicians wanted to meet him. So they were in the dressing room with me. He came in. He had about seven people with him, and we would sit around and talk and his guys would laugh when he said something that was kind of funny, my guys would say something when I would say something kind of funny. It was really funny. So finally he said let's go over to my place. This was about two, three in the morning. I didn't do my second show until about 12:30, got off at 1:30. We went over to his place at the Hilton. And he just said there are about 200 kids in his suite when he came in all dancing and having fun. And he said let's go on in here. We went into another room, into a library. And he played some music. He loved gospel music. We sang gospel music together for about two hours. And then finally I said I've got to go to bed. Can't stay up all night.

GLENN: He had to be, "What? Bed. Alone?" I hesitate to even ask this, but were you ever -- like Frank Sinatra. We know Frank Sinatra was Frank Sinatra.

WILLIAMS: He was a dual personality, I think.

GLENN: Did you ever back in the days when that was the way people lived, did you lead that lifestyle?

WILLIAMS: No, I didn't. I was married. I had children. I was reasonable. No, I didn't get into all of the trouble that a lot of people did.

GLENN: Craziness.

WILLIAMS: I just worked hard. I screwed up my marriage by working too hard and not spending time with my, taking care of the family and my kids and stuff, which I regret a lot. But, no, I was fairly a normal person. I grew up with my brothers. And I was brought up in the church, Presbyterian church. I had certain values that were instilled in me by my parents. So I lived a fairly normal life. I wasn't as wild as the Rat Pack.

GLENN: I don't know if anybody was.

WILLIAMS: I spent some time with them. And I knew Sinatra and I had dinner with him several times. I saw him one time being very cruel, and I couldn't get over the idea of this man who could sing in such a tender wonderful loving kind way and such a -- was such a wonderful personality, could be so mean. He just had two sides. But with me he was always fine.

GLENN: My father is your age. And my father said to me, he said, "With what I see coming, I'm glad I'm my age because I wouldn't want to be your age right now." When you look at the state of our world, of our country and everything, what are you feeling?

WILLIAMS: I watch your show a lot. I feel pretty much like you do. I feel we're in a terrible situation. I hope that things are going to get better. But I don't have much faith in our president.

GLENN: I have tremendous faith and it is growing. I have tremendous faith in the Lord, and I just -- I think this is his country. And I see people waking up. I have tremendous faith and it's growing every day in people. The American people are very resilient. And if they're told the truth, they will face anything and will conquer anything.

WILLIAMS: I believe that, too.

GLENN: Andy Williams, it is a pleasure, sir. And I know --

WILLIAMS: Pleasure for me to talk to you. I admire what you're doing, and I really like you a lot.

GLENN: Could I send you my old Andy Williams record album and have you sign it? I swear to you, this is just the coolest thing ever to talk to you, it really is. I mean, I've been a fan -- I don't mean to make you feel like Father Time here but I've been a fan since I was a little kid. And you've been always but nothing a good memory. And that's very rare.

WILLIAMS: That's very nice to hear. I couldn't have anything better said about my life, I guess, that I was a good person.

GLENN: Well, thank you so much, sir. And it's a real privilege to talk to you. Thank you very much.

WILLIAMS: I've enjoyed it very much. Thanks very much, Glenn.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.