The Brooklyn-born panhandler with the “golden radio voice” embraced his mother for the first time in 20 years Thursday afternoon – after two network news shows made peace and allowed the reunion to happen.
“My prodigal son has finally come home,” the overjoyed mother said.
The newspaper reported that Williams told his mom that he had straightened out his life and wouldn’t mess up the second chance.
The mother also chided her son about getting her age wrong on national TV. Williams said she was 92 during an “Early Show” interview on Wednesday.
The touching reunion is scheduled to air tomorrow on both morning shows, but until yesterday afternoon there had been a standoff over which network would show it.
“It’s delightful, just delightful,” Williams said of his instant celebrity. “I’m just happy to meet Matt Lauer, see my mom and be back in New York!”
The new star sported an old wardrobe: A green camouflage jacket, green T-shirt and jeans. He sipped from a coffee in one hand and a water bottle in the other.
At the same time, Williams’ mother appeared on “The Early Show” to talk about her son.
“I’m so proud,” she said. “I want him to do well and I live to see him do well.”
“The Early Show,” who scored an interview with Williams’ on Wednesday, had taken his mother to LaGuardia Airport Wednesday night to see him when he landed. But “The Today Show” whisked Williams away, scuttling a mother-son reunion.
In an unusual move, the networks brokered a deal Thursday to show the reunion at the same time.
Williams’ luck turned when a local newspaper video of the one-time radio announcer’s striking vocal talent went viral three days ago. It produced a whirlwind of media attention and a pile of voice-over opportunities, including one to work for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In between sifting through job offers on Wednesday, a tearful Williams told CBS’ “The Early Show” the best gift of his newfound fame was the chance to visit his mom.
“I apologize. I’m getting a little emotional. I haven’t seen my mom in a great deal of time,” said Williams.
“One of my biggest prayers that I sent out was that she would live long enough for me to see me rebound or whatever, and I guess God kept her around and kept my pipes around to maybe just have one more shot,” he said.
Williams’ ex-wife, Patricia Kirtley, told the Daily News that she called his mom – who still lives in the East Flatbush apartment where she raised her kids – to explain her son’s stunning reversal of fortune.
“She didn’t believe it until I called her. She is so overwhelmed,” said Kirtley, 58, who had five children with Williams. “I think she does not want him to mess it up. She said this is an opportunity and a second chance.”
Their reunion was delayed after Williams was turned away from a flight because he lacked proper identification, according to TMZ.
Kirtley met Williams when he was 18 – and even then he had dreams of becoming a radio personality.
“I was about to melt,” she said of first hearing his voice. “He does have a God-given gift. He was always the entertainer. He always played music. He was like the deejay.”
Aside from his radio gigs, Williams would act as an emcee for entertainers who came through Columbus. Kirtley said her ex didn’t handle fame well and got caught up with women, booze and drugs.
“He started messing up,” she said. “He had a lot of groupies. I think it was a whole lot for him to try and handle that. A lot of things were going wrong in his life.”
Williams’ career and marriage collapsed. His addiction led to a string of arrests for forgery and theft, records show.
That all turned around when a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch found Williams begging for money with a sign saying he had a “God-given gift of a great voice.” In the video, he does pitch-perfect station identifications.
Williams told the “Early Show” he hoped someone might spot his talents, but he never expected the outpouring of job offers and media attention.
“It’s like almost winning the Mega Ball lottery or something. It’s just phenomenal.
The Video that Started it all~
Seeing his mom after years~
The Many Interviews he has had in the past 48hours :D~
His Facebook Fan Page( you can get updates on his Journey)