Contents 1 Biography 2 Illness and death 3 Singles discography 4 Discography 5 References 6 External links

Biography[edit] Weertz was born to a Lutheran minister, the Rev. Frederick J. Weertz (1891–1980) and a music teacher, Dorothea Bang Weertz (1895–1985), in Omaha, Nebraska. The family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, before his first birthday. He first played the piano at age three.[1] In high school he became interested in boxing, mainly at his father's insistence, and only returned to music after breaking his nose several times and sustaining several other injuries. Weertz majored in piano at Drake University in Des Moines, but claimed he was expelled for playing "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" in the practice room. Weertz entered the United States Navy and served in World War II. While still in the Navy, he earned a bachelor's degree from Idaho State College (now Idaho State University) in 1950. Afterwards, Weertz re-enrolled at Drake, where he earned his master's degree. He then moved to New York City to attend Juilliard,[1] where he studied jazz piano under Lennie Tristano and Teddy Wilson. Weertz won a talent contest on Dennis James' television program, Chance of a Lifetime. David Kapp, founder of Kapp Records, heard him, and was so impressed that he signed the pianist, giving him the professional name "Roger Williams" after the founder of Rhode Island. In 1955 Williams recorded "Autumn Leaves", the only piano instrumental to reach #1 on Billboard's popular music chart. It sold over two million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. It was the fourth #1 song of the "rock era," which unofficially began with the ascension of "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets into the top spot.[2] In 1966 he had another Top Ten hit with the song "Born Free" from the motion picture soundtrack. His other hits include "Near You", "Till", "The Impossible Dream", "Yellow Bird", "Maria", and "The Theme from Somewhere in Time". Billboard magazine ranks him as the top selling piano recording artist in history with 18 gold and platinum albums to his credit. Williams was known as the "Pianist to the Presidents", having played for nine US Presidential administrations, beginning with Harry S. Truman.[1] His last White House performance was in November 2008 for a luncheon hosted by First Lady Laura Bush. On his 75th birthday, Williams performed his first 12-hour piano marathon. He performed the marathon at Steinway Hall in New York City and the Nixon, Carter and Reagan Presidential Libraries. His Steinway & Sons "Gold Steinway"[3] grand piano was on tour for public display and entertainment during 2007–2008. In 2010, Roger Williams was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. Williams developed his particular attitude to his public from a boyhood experience in Des Moines, Iowa. After a piano concert by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, he waited for 45 minutes outside in cold weather to meet Paderewski. When the pianist finally appeared, it was to rush to a waiting automobile. Williams who had waited was upset. "I didn't even get near enough to touch him or get an autograph. It was then and there I resolved that if ever I became famous I would never disappoint anyone who wanted to talk to me."[4]

Illness and death[edit] In March 2011 Williams posted on his website that he had pancreatic cancer and that his doctors had told him they could not remove the tumor until chemotherapy shrunk it to an operable size. Williams said that he did not plan on canceling any upcoming concerts. He wrote: "What does it all mean? It means I'm in just one more fight — the fight for my life... And this much I know, this old Navy boxing champion is going for broke. Just watch me!" He died on October 8, 2011, one week after his 87th birthday.[5][6] Williams was married twice. His first marriage produced three children. Both marriages ended in divorce.[1]

Singles discography[edit] Year Title Chart Positions US CB US – AC 1955 "Autumn Leaves" 1 1 "Wanting You" 38 41 1956 "La Mer (Beyond the Sea)" 37 42 "Hi-lili Hi-lo" 85 41 "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" 60 34 "Two Different Worlds"with Jane Morgan 41 22 "Anastasia" 1957 "Almost Paradise" 15 16 "Moonlight Love" 54 "Till" 22 24 1958 "Arrivederci, Roma" 55 32 "Young Warm and Wonderful" 31 "Near You" 10 12 "The World Outside" 71 25 1959 "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" "Winter Wonderland" "Dearer Than Dear" "Mockin' Bird Hill" "Sunrise Serenade" 106 119 1960 "La Montana" 98 62 "Riviera Concerto" "Temptation" 56 72 1961 "Marie, Marie" 108 "A Lover's Symphony" "Yellow Bird" "Clair De Lune (Moonlight Love" "Maria" 48 40 11 "Santa Claus-Santa Claus" 1962 "Intermezzo" "Amor" 88 89 16 "On Top Of Old Smokey" (With The Lincolns and Rich Dehr) "Niagara Theme" "Theme From 'Mutiny On The Bounty'" 1963 "Cold, Cold Heart" "Theme From 'Ben Casey'" "On The Trail" 113 140 "Janie Is Her Name" 118 "Look Again" 127 "Theme from 'The Cardinal'" 109 120 1964 "Felicia" "This Is My Prayer" "Whistl'n" 140 1965 "Vaya Con Dios" "High Noon" "Try To Remember" 97 97 "Summer Wind" 109 97 20 "Autumn Leaves '65" 92 110 10 1966 "Lara's Theme" 65 90 5 "Born Free" 7 7 1 1967 "Sunrise, Sunset" 84 65 5 "Love Me Forever" 60 63 3 "More Than A Miracle" 108 100 2 1968 "The Spinning Song" "The Impossible Dream" / 55 52 5 "If You Go" 37 "Only For Lovers" 119 123 31 1969 "Love Theme From 'La Strada'" 122 "White Christmas" "Galveston" 99 99 21 "Fill The World With Love" 1970 "Song From 'M*A*S*H' (Suicide Is Painless)" "Butterflies" (By Laura and Roger Williams) "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" 1971 "Theme From 'Love Story'" "The Summer Knows (Theme From 'Summer of '42')" 118 "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" 1972 "Lady Sings The Blues" "Love Theme From 'The Godfather'" 116 115 1974 "Theme From 'Murder On The Orient Express'" 1975 "Theme From 'Rollerball'" 1976 "Cast Your Fate To The Wind" 39 1977 "Main Theme from King Kong" 32 "Theme From 'Airport 77'" 1980 "Somewhere In Time"

Discography[edit] This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2011) The Boy Next Door (Kapp KL-1003) - 1957 It's a Big Wide Wonderful World (Kapp KL-1008) - 1958 Roger Williams with Orchestra (Kapp KL-1012) - 1955 Daydreams (Kapp KL-1031) - 1955 Roger Williams Plays the Wonderful Music of the Masters (Kapp KL-1040) - 1956 Roger Williams Plays Christmas Songs (Kapp KL-1042) - 1956 Roger Williams Plays Beautiful Waltzes (Kapp KL-1062, KS-3000) - 1957 Almost Paradise (Kapp KL-1063) - 1957 Songs of the Fabulous Fifties (Kapp KXL-5000) (2-Record Set) - 1957 Songs of the Fabulous Forties (Kapp KXL-5003) (2-Record Set) - 1957 Songs of the Fabulous Century (Kapp KXL-5005) (2-Record Set) - 1958 Till (Kapp KL-1081) - 1958 Roger Williams Plays Gershwin (Kapp KL-1088) - 1958 Near You (Kapp KL-1112) - 1959 More Songs of the Fabulous Fifties (Kapp KL-1130, KS-3013) - 1959 With These Hands (Kapp KL-1147, KS-3030) - 1959 Christmas Time (Kapp KL-1164, KS-3048, MCA-536, MCA-15005) - 1959 Always - Melodies That Will Live Forever (Kapp KL-1172, KS-3056) - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Forties - Part 1 (Kapp KL-1207, KS-3207) - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Forties - Part 2 (Kapp KL-1208, KS-3208) - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Fifties - Part 1 (Kapp KL-1209, KS-3209) - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Fifties - Part 2 (Kapp KL-1210, KS-3210) - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Century - Part 1 (Kapp KL-1211, KS-3211) - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Century - Part 2 (Kapp KL-1212, KS-3212) - 1960 Temptation (Kapp KL-1217, KS-3217) - 1960 Roger Williams Invites You to Dance (Kapp KL-1222, KS-3222) - 1961 Yellow Bird (Kapp KL-1244, KS-3244) - 1961 Songs of the Soaring '60s - Vol. 1 (Kapp KL-1251, KS-3251) - 1961 Roger Williams at Town Hall (Kapp KXL-5008) (2-Record Set) - 1961 Greatest Hits (Kapp KL-1260, KS-3260) - 1962 Maria (Kapp KL-1266, KS-3266) - 1962 Mr. Piano (Kapp KL-1290, KS-3290) - 1962 Country Style (Kapp KL-1305) - 1963 For You (Kapp KL-1336, KS-3336) - 1963 The Solid Gold Steinway (Kapp KL-1354, KS-3354) - 1964 By Special Request (Kapp KL-3. KS-3) - 1964 Roger Williams Family Album of Hymns (Kapp KS-3395) Academy Award Winners (Kapp KL-1406, KL-3406) - 1964 Roger Williams Plays the Hits (Kapp KL-1414, KS-3414) - 1965 Summer Wind and Your Special Requests (Kapp KL-1434, KS-3434) - 1965 Autumn Leaves - 1965 (Kapp KL-1452, KS-3452) - 1965 I'll Remember You (Kapp KL-1470, KS-3470) - 1967 Somewhere My Love (Kapp KS-3470) - 1967 Academy Award Winners - Vol. 2 (Kapp KL-1483) Born Free (Kapp KL-1501, KS-3501, KTL-3501) - 1966 Roger! (Kapp KL-1512, KS-3512) - 1967 Golden Hits (Kapp KL-1530, KS-3530) - 1967 By Special Request - Vol. 2 (Kapp KL-4, KS-4) - 1967 Amor (Kapp KS-3549) - 1968 The Impossible Dream (Kapp KS-3550) - 1968 More Than a Miracle (Kapp KS-3550) Only for Lovers (Kapp KS-3565) - 1968 Happy Heart (Kapp KS-3595) - 1969 The Piano Magic of Roger Williams (Columbia Musical Treasuries P2S-5306, P3S-5314) - 1969 Roger Williams Plays Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet and Other Great Movie Themes (Kapp KS-3610, L3610) Themes from Great Movies (Kapp KS-3629) - 1970 Golden Hits - Vol. 2 (Kapp KS-3638) - 1970 Magic Moods - Roger Williams/Bert Kaempfert (MCA Special Markets DL-734729) - 1970 Love Story (Kapp KS-3645) - 1971 Summer of '42 (The Summer Knows) (Kapp KS-3650) - 1971 Twilight Themes: 10 All-Time Favorites (Longines Symphonette Society - SYS5329, LS206C, LWS 640) - 1971 Love Theme from "The Godfather" (Kapp KS-3665) - 1972 Play Me: Love Themes from "Lady Sings the Blues" (Kapp KS-3671) - 1972 The Roger Williams Showcase (Kapp KW-900) Roger Williams (MCA-324) - 1973 Roger Williams Live (MCA-378) - 1973 The Way We Were (MCA-403) - 1974 I Honestly Love You (MCA-438) - 1975 Virtuoso (MCA-2175) - 1976 Nadia's Theme (MCA-2237) - 1976 The Best of Roger Williams (MCA2-4106, RCA Music Service R-243835) (2-Record Set) - 1976 Evergreen (MCA-2279) - 1977 Autumn Leaves: The Best of Roger Williams (Reader's Digest RDA-187) (8-Record Set) - 1979 Golden Christmas (Holiday HDY-1927) - 1981 1970's (MCA2-4180) - 1983 Today, My Way (Priority (Capitol) Records SL9323) - 1986 The Great Love Songs (MCA Special Products 15074) (3-CD Set) - 1993 Golden Christmas (Special Music Company SCD-4607) - 1993 Sunrise Sunset (MCA, Pickwick SPC-3511) Spanish Eyes (MCA, Pickwick SPC-3367) Roger Williams & Ferrante and Teicher (Metro M-484) Born Free ... and Other Great Romantic Melodies (Longines Symphonette Society LS 206-A) (5-Record Box Set)

References[edit] ^ a b c d Nelson, Valerie J. (October 9, 2011). "Roger Williams dies at 87; 'Autumn Leaves' pop pianist found commercial success". Los Angeles Times. p. A43. Retrieved November 17, 2014.  ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 77–78. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.  ^ "Roger Williams Gold". Steinway & Sons Web Site. Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2011.  ^ The Tiger, Clemson Agricultural College (Clemson, South Carolina), January 13, 1961, Volume LIV, Number 14, p. 1 ^ Dennis Hevesi (October 8, 2011). "Roger Williams, Pianist Known for Sentimental Songs, Dies at 87". The New York Times.  ^ "Pianist Roger Williams dies of cancer at 87". Eyewitness News (KABC). 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 

External links[edit] Official website Roger Williams on IMDb Roger Williams at AllMusic Text of resolution of Iowa legislature honoring Roger Williams Roger Williams page on Nebraska Music Hall of Fame site Roger Williams at Find a Grave Roger Williams Interview NAMM Oral History Library (2006) Authority control WorldCat Identities VIAF: 66678007 LCCN: n93022127 ISNI: 0000 0000 7366 655X GND: 134788621 BNF: cb142393956 (data) BIBSYS: 13057578 MusicBrainz: 878fb667-b443-4ddf-b7dc-130824b736aa SNAC: w6jt0r1m Retrieved from "" Categories: 1924 births2011 deathsAmerican LutheransAmerican pop pianistsEasy listening artistsJuilliard School alumniAmerican military personnel of World War IIDrake University alumniMusicians from Des Moines, IowaIdaho State University alumniDeaths from pancreatic cancerDeaths from cancer in CaliforniaKapp Records artistsMusicians from Iowa20th-century American pianistsHidden categories: Articles with hCardsArticles to be expanded from January 2011All articles to be expandedArticles using small message boxesFind a Grave template with ID same as WikidataWikipedia articles with VIAF identifiersWikipedia articles with LCCN identifiersWikipedia articles with ISNI identifiersWikipedia articles with GND identifiersWikipedia articles with BNF identifiersWikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiersWikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiersWikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers

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Roger_Williams_(pianist) - Photos and All Basic Informations

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