Roger Williams (1924-2011)

Roger Williams (1924-2011)

Roger Williams, the pianist whose lush versions of familiar tunes made their way to the book that Joseph Lanza wrote in 1994 (“Elevator Music”), died ten years ago at his home in Los Angeles. He was 87. Seven singles by Mr. Williams made it onto the Billboard Top 40, perhaps the best known of which — and the one that brought him stardom — was “Autumn Leaves” in 1955. His other Top 40 hits were “Wanting You” (1956); “La Mer” or “Beyond the Sea” (1956); “Almost Paradise” (1957); “Till” (1957); “Near You” (1958) and “Born Free” in 1966. Over his long career he recorded more than 100 albums. But the main reason why he will be remembered by me is that “Till” was the first single that I ever bought. The first in a long series…

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