Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Danny Williams won a talent contest at the age of 14 and joined a touring show called Golden City Dixies that played throughout South Africa.
In 1959, the show travelled to London, where Williams impressed EMI’s Norman Newell, who signed the young singer to a recording contract.
He was subsequently to spend most of his life in the UK, where he made a few moderately successful singles, mainly popular ballads, before scoring a #1 hit with his cover version of Moon River in 1961.
Billed as the UK’s Johnny Mathis, he also scored a #8 chart hit with The Wonderful World of the Young in April 1962 which led to his appearance in the film Play It Cool (1962) as pop singer Billy Universe.
He also appeared in the Tommy Steele film It’s All Happening (1963).
In 1963, Williams joined a 20-city tour which starred Helen Shapiro and featured The Beatles as a support act.
Like many other ballad singers of the day, he was swept away by the new beat group era and had no more major British hits.
He continued to record for HMV until 1967 while working the nightclub circuit, but In 1968, he had a nervous breakdown and was declared bankrupt two years later.
Danny resumed his singing career in the early 1970s, achieving a top 30 success with Dancin’ Easy in 1977.
In the early 1990s, he recorded for Prestige Records and starred in a Nat King Cole tribute show which made toured Britain several times.
Danny Williams died in December 2005 of lung cancer, aged 63.