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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Singing to a Bulldog...Review and Giveaway

About the book:
Growing up in 1950s California, young Anson William Heimlich showed very little promise. Clumsy, unsure of himself, and made to feel like a failure by his disappointed artist of a dad, Anson started working odd jobs as a teenager to help support his family. His boss at one of these jobs, an aging African-American janitor named Willie, unexpectedly became a mentor -- and the lessons he taught young Anson proved to be invaluable throughout his subsequent career as an actor, director, and entrepreneur.

In Singing to a Bulldog, Anson Williams (as he came to be known) relates both these lessons and the never-before-revealed stories of the many seminal TV series he has worked on and the famous (and not-so-famous) folks he's encountered during his 40 years in Hollywood, including:

  • the day Robin Williams woke up Happy Days
  • being directed by Steven Spielberg in his first dramatic role
  • getting kidnapped by Gerald Ford's daughter at the White House
  • subbing for Sammy Davis, Jr., as a headliner with Bill Cosby
  • being humbled by Sunny, a young volunteer for the Cerebral Palsy National Organization
  • being inspired by Shailene Woodley on the set of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and many more.
This compelling read has a cross-generational and broad appeal, combining all the fun of a celebrity memoir with the emotional impact of an inspirational bestseller. With Singing to a Bulldog, Anson Williams brings his gift of storytelling to a new medium in a book that is sure to touch readers' hearts and lives as profoundly as Willie once touched his.

Like many who grew up in the 1970s, I loved the television show, Happy Days. And, like most people, I had no idea about the personal lives of the actors. 

Anson's home life wasn't great and while he doesn't dwell on the difficulties at home, they had a profound effect on him. Getting his first job as a department store janitor introduced him to Willie Turner, an uneducated, alcoholic African-American janitor who saw potential in Anson and proceeded to become an unlikely mentor to him.

As he shares his experiences in becoming an entertainer, Anson does speak of meeting John Lennon and Elvis Presley, but he shares what he learned from each man, rather than simply the awe he felt in meeting them. He's not afraid to talk about other celebrities, but always in the context of what knowledge, insight or lesson he gained from the association.

His friendship and association with Willie taught him many important things and the life lessons Anson learned as a teenager are still relevant today. In telling his story, he's honest and forthright and very willing to give credit where it's due.

I loved that while this was a memoir, it wasn't a "look at me name drop" memoir. It's really a life lessons memoir and one I appreciated. 

Thanks to Leyane at FSB Associates for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Anson Williams here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 11/14

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

Because I loved the book and I think you will too, please enter the giveaway for a copy. U.S. Addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. I well remember Williams too. This book sounds good to me!

  2. Thanks for this fascinating giveaway which interests me greatly. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. Thanks for a terrific review! Now I really want to read it and have put it on my wishlist.

  4. Holly, thank you for a terrific review and for hosting this giveaway! I will add your giveaway to my blog's sidebar.

  5. I remember Happy Days played every day after school. I'd watch Tom and Jerry and then Happy Days. Would love to read this!

  6. Everything about this reminds me of my awesome childhood! Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. what a fun giveaway! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop ♥

  8. What a good review, thank you~

  9. I grew up in the 60's and can certainly identify with the areas and people in this era. I'd love to read this book. Rene Chartier (Joan C)