Roger Williams was a virtuoso pianist whose arpeggio-strewn hit Autumn Leaves is the only piano instrumental to reach number one on the Billboard pop charts. It stands as the greatest selling piano recording of all time, with more than 2 million sold. He recorded dozens of hits, including Born Free, the theme from the movie Doctor Zhivago, and the soundtrack for Somewhere in Time.
Known as an electrifying stage performer and an adept improviser, Williams effortlessly switched between musical styles and could touch any audience, from teenagers to senior citizens. Nick-named “Mr. Piano”, he was also pronounced, “Pianist to the Presidents”, having performed for nine commander-in-chiefs in the White House.
This year we commemorate the 50 Year Anniversary of Born Free winning an Oscar for the ‘Best Original Music Score’. Enjoy watching Roger Williams perform his hit record, Born Free, in this 1967 Academy Awards Ceremony production, introduced by Bob Hope.