What a one-of-a-kind musician Roger was! He had tremendous technique, a wonderful grasp of harmony, melody and mega arranging skills. And just a top notch performer. Roger’s music is timeless.
I’ve been a career pianist, composer for over 50 years. Thank you Roger for your inspiration and influence.
Roger was a man of such grace and humility.
He was indeed a wonderful human being, a creative musician and had an extraordinary talent.
I was so fortunate to know him, and be inspired by the man and his music.
I was grateful to get to know Roger during my 3 1/2 decades at Steinway & Sons.
I have such fond memories of spending memorable afternoons and evenings with Roger at his home in California.
One of my most memorable times with Roger was at the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows following a Steinway Dealer meeting when he sat down at midnight after performing for an International audience of dealers and started to design what became the Roger Williams Autumn Leaves Art Case Piano. (To this day, only one name has ever been united with a Steinway Art Case Piano and that name is Roger Williams)
Roger was by far one of Steinway’s most celebrated and brilliant artists. He was truly loved by all of his fans and all of his friends at Steinway, especially Henry & Polly Steinway.
I think about Roger often, and miss him dearly. It was an honor to know him and be there the day we said “goodbye friend”
My parents were great fans of Roger Williams in the ’50s and ’60s and I remember hearing his music often on the old “Hi-Fi”. What a wonderful memory of those sounds echoing through our home growing up. Later, I had the pleasure of meeting Roger when I was singing with his son, Jim, in the old L.A. Jazz Choir. He was always very gracious and encouraging.
I’ve listened to his albums for 50 years for hours at a time.
My sister and I shared a room growing up and when we were in high school in the early 60’s we had a stereo player in our bedroom and fell asleep to Roger Williams’ piano music every night. Even now hearing his music takes me right back to those evenings in bed listening to his music which lulled me to sleep. I had a cassette recording of his years ago but hadn’t listened to his music in a long, long time. Now, thanks to “Alexa”, she “shuffles songs by Roger Williams” for me and I am again listening to his beautiful music during the day AND at night in bed. The sound of his piano playing is heavenly and fills me with emotion. I think he transports everyone to a better time and place.
I love everything that he has done and such a humble man for all of his great talent….
I love Roger’s playing. I’m a pianist in NYC. Irene Wlodarski from Steinway C and A, also loved him and hung pictures of him in her office. Roger continues to be an inspiration to me. In fact, I modeled my arrangement of “Affair” partially in his style–and some Rachmaninoff. Warner Bros music published a folio of my music in 1999–but I am re-writing the music to include our music discovery, Translators of the Universe®.
Thanks for the great music and wish you continuing success.
As a music lover from a very early age, I have to admit I didn’t really know about Roger until I bought a various artistes cd of American hits of the 1966-1967 period. It contained Born Free, and from then on I was hooked on his music, having purchased other cds. Graham Hall of Lincoln City Radio, Lincoln, United Kingdom.
I had the pleasure of attending 8 of Roger’s concerts, and always went backstage to see him. Thank you for posting the video of “Born Free” performed on the 1967 Oscars…what a treat!
I remember distinctly watching Roger on television performing a medley of Irving Berlin’s songs commemorating, I believe, Mr. Berlins 100th birthday. That was probably one of most spectacular performances by Mr. Williams. Do you have this clip, and if so, can you post it to this site? I would love the see more of his concert clips from the 1950’s thru 1970’s… (I believe this Berlin medley was either on “The Hollywood Palace” or “The Ed Sullivan Show”.)
Thinking the passing of Fats Domino, brought to mind Roger’s rendition of “Blueberry Hill”. In the Readers Digest 1979 boxed set of Roger’s recordings, it states that this song went through a variety of interpretations before Roger recorded it….Gene Autry in 1941, Glenn Miller with Ray Eberle, then Louis Armstrong sang it until his passing in 1971….then it was Fats’ turn who gave it a heavy boogie-woogie beat….then came Roger who went the opposite direction and played it slowly with a lush string ensemble. Roger’s rendition is on his double-play album, The Songs Of The Fabulous 40’s…and probably my favorite of this song.
I am so honored to have been asked to sign this guest book for a man I’ve admired since I was in my 20s (I’m now 75). I was sadden to learn that this great musician has passed, but his great music will live on in my mind and heart. I met Roger Williams right after my husband and I had been discharged from the US Marine Corps and were living in Colorado in Colorado Springs. We both were working at the Broadmoor Hotel, he as a Security Guard and myself as an elevator operator. My husband was aware of how much I admired Mr. William’s music and when he discovered Mr. Williams practicing, asked if it would be alright to bring me to meet him. When I got off work than same day, my husband came to get me and he told me who he was taking me to meet – personally (squeal!!) – I became very excited! Mr. Williams was very gracious and down to earth. I told him I had all of his albums and he offered to sign them for me. The next day, my husband took them to Mr. Williams and they were all signed.
I just recently discovered Roger Williams’ music a few days ago. His beautiful playing brings to mind the romantic glamor of the Old Hollywood era…and Autumn Leaves is the loveliest thing I have ever heard. I have to listen to the first few notes he plays in that piece with my eyes closed to fully experience that gorgeous intro. Roger’s music will surely continue to touch generations to come.
Лучший пианист ! ! ! Браво ! ! !
Thank you dear Roger …. nobody is better ….
I saw Mr Wiiliams playing in Tokyo, I will never forget that beautiful concert he did! Talented,entertaining……
Roger’s music will always live on!
Roger’s talent within his touch, emotion, sensitivity on those keyboards was a Gift from God.
이제는 돌아가신 님의 영전에, 사랑과 존경의 마음을
보내고 돌아 갑니다. 부디 좋은 곳에서 아름다운 음악과 함께
영원하시기를 빕니다 *****
Now, I offer to honor of your deceased spirit, love and respect
I go back my land . 1 hope your memory With beautiful music in a picturesque place
Roger was amazing pianist, amazing person. Met him first time in 1971, what a great talent !!
Roger was like an Uncle to me and one of my dads best friends. My father Tom Decker played with Roger, was in business with him, and loved him dearly. I send my best wishes to all he loved and pray for each of you amazing lives.
I knew Roger when he was in the Navy at Pocatello. Great guy! Played in a dance band with him.
I briefly corresponded by email with Mr. Williams as a fellow pianist and studier of his artistry. He made you feel as though you knew him for a lifetime. He deserved every accolade he received in life, as an artist and as a human being.
River Edge, NJ
I am 61 years old and it was my father, a professional pianist, who first introduced me to the music of Roger Williams. I am glad he did. I studied piano with my father since the age of 3. I teach piano and have composed for TV and Film. I have many pianists I enjoy listening to, but I have never been so moved as when I listen to Roger Williams. He becomes one with the music and allows listeners to experience the same. His piano styling and arrangements are truly heavenly and in a class all their own. He is simply the best there ever was…a true musician and gift to us all.
I am a caregiver for 84 year old Mrs. Meyers. She was at a lecture that her husband was giving in Cincinnati several years ago. She went for a walk and heard beautiful music come from a room. She a piano player herself was propelled to enter the room. She and Roger became friends and and corresponded threw the years. She listens to his CBS with fond memories.
When I first heard Roger I loved his piano playing beginning with Autumn Leaves.
North Hills, CA
I had the honor and great privilege to see Roger Williams in concert several times and had opportunity to converse with him on several occasions.wonderful gentleman. Gracious and extremely talented. Luckily, I have many albums by Roger W. To enjoy forever.
I performed with Roger three times in 1995 with the NC Symphony Orchestra. I played guitar and he sat me one foot from his piano seat. I’m sure he did this because I was struggling with the complex interactions between him, me, and the orchestra. He kept me close so he could keep his eye and ear on me. After the first rehearsal he asked his assistant to give me a recording of his last concert so I could improve my performance. He explained that he learned to play by ear and his music reading skills were also not as developed. I neglected to tell him I thought I played better by reading than be ear. It is good practice for a musician to keep his mouth shut and this practice served me well that day. I had a two day break before the performances and worked with the taped performance almost 24hrs a day. When the time came I played perfectly and even beyond my abilities. Roger actually thanked me. His kind comment is the highlight of my music career. During the first rehearsal I endured Roger’s direct and true criticism of my guitar skills. He always gave me examples from his own experiences when he struggled with the same problems. To make matters more interesting for me the entire orchestra was behind us and was no doubt entertained by Roger’s helpful instruction so painfully directed to myself alone. I was the only musician he spoke to before, during, and after each song. I grew as a person and musician because I learned Roger always focused on the music. I could see every movement of his fingers and hands and hear every note. He played with a confidence and joy that came from some unknowable place in his heart. He loved Music. I have never met anyone like him.
Grew up listening to Roger Williams. A master in his own right.
Love his music and style! Wonderful talent!
We owned the largest music store chain in the area and I was a concert tuner. I was in business with Roger with the Roger Williams Studios using Leisure Times computer aide teaching methods. I tuned for Roger many times in the area. A great fellow and artist, he is missed.
Grew up loving his music and it inspired me to play the piano.
Heard “Autumn Leaves” the other day – the music lives on, but I miss its maker. Thank you, Roger.
Your music has been a part of my life since college in the sixties. Time to reminisce and say THANK YOU for all that the “piano genius” has shared with the world over the years.
West Brookfield, MA
Young and warm and wonderful is my favorite.I have gown to appreciate Ronnie Aldrich and Richard Claderman because of Mr. Williams.
Have Enjoyed His Music for Decades.Saw Him and Heard Him Play at Crystal Cath. Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have not heard your music until now. However I know so many of your songs that I am looking forward to listening to them.
No one else like him. Memorable and wonderful music, readily identified.
Los Angeles, CA
Working for you was the best thing that ever happened to me. You enriched my life with your beautiful music.
I sight read but I also play by hear and I love his style and I feel I could continue to play for him to whoever.
Some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard!
UN GRANDE DEL PIANO, NO ENCUENTRO EL TEMA “LOS PROBLEMAS DE TU MENTE”, ME TRAE GRANDES RECUERDOS.
São Paulo – Brazil
I heard Roger on Iowa radio as Lou Weertz as I grew up. He often played requests for me on radio. I then met him at Drake in Howard Hall. Later, I heard him play and had a great visit with him at Cafe Madison in NYC. Attended some of his concerts in California. He was a fantastic musician and wonderful friend. I treasure the LP vinyl records he made.
Thank you Roger for memories for my family and me. Love your music and your love of God. From one pianist to another – thanks.
One of my most treasured memories is of sitting on Roger’s piano while he was playing it, for a photo shoot for a charity event. That photo sits prominently in my office. Roger’s heart was as beautiful as his music.
You where as gentle and beautiful as your music. It was an honor to call you a friend.
Your music brought joy to all of us who were blessed to hear it.
We were fortunate enough to meet Roger thru a mutual friend. We were invited to visit his home where we were able to see all of his richly deserved awards. Later we were invited to join them for dinner where Roger made the evening so very comfortable for us where we saw him as just a very nice, polite, unassuming and very normal person. Since both of us love Roger’s music it truly was an honor and a wonderful experience we will never forget.
THE BEST …. I could listen to his music and style everyday plus such a wonderful man.
Santa Fe, NM
Beverly Hills, CA
His music, His smile, His concern for other people & his warmth will always be in our memory. We miss you, Roger.
Still loving your music and enjoying hearing your praises.
Grand Terrace, CA
I have always enjoyed the feeling and romance that is evident in each arrangement he played. He is a truly gifted musician.
I do miss his wonderful unparalleled mastery of the piano & music…. almost as much as I miss this charming & gallant man.
Roger was a most talented artist.
I miss Roger. I have all his CDs but the best was seeing him perform live. His music was such a big part of my life. Happy or sad I always had his music for joy or comfort.
I have enjoyed this wonderful artist for years. I shared the same grief, Mr. Williams had when the USN band played “Eternal Father.
Had the pleasure of seeing Roger in the 1970s in Ft. Myers, FL. He and his group were excellent!!
Pembroke Pines, Fl
Been listening to your music since the late 50s. Fantastic
Flushing, New York
Your Autumn Leaves video blew me away I love your “On The Trail” and many others.
Los Angeles, California
Roger and his music are a great inspirations to me. While he is not with us, his music lives on.
Roger was an amazing musician. His tunes lifted the heart and filled the senses with wonder. He is missed dearly, but his legacy will live on in the hearts of music lovers the world over.
“Autumn Leaves” is my very favorite.
I grow up with Roger Williams music, then I came to Italy and quite no one knows him. I often talk about Yellow Birds, that I love, and made cd from the vinyl discs I still have : )
My wife and I had the privilege of attending a Roger Williams concert in Houston shortly before he turned 80 (the age which I am now). Roger Williams was without a doubt one of a kind, unique in a way that he stood alone as an incredibly talented musician. Watching his fingers float across the keyboard with a dexterity hard to find in much younger people, was mesmerizing. He may be gone, but thank God his music will live on.
Autumn Leaves has always brought a Tears to my eyes and Joy in my Heart. It is the most beautiful song ever. Just love it.
I just listened to Nadia’s Theme and it reminded me again how much I enjoyed the wonderful music of Roger Williams.
After 30 years I just pulled my records from under my bed. The first record I played was Love Theme from The Godfather and the track was Tchaikovsky 73.
Roger Williams was the best, great pianist and a great man.
Loved his music. A great talent. I’m sorry that he is no longer here with us.
I’ve loved Roger’s music since I first heard Autumn Leaves. It’s such a blessing to be able to listen to it all of my days. It takes me to places and memories dear to my heart. Thank God for the legacy of Roger.
My favorite pianist of all time. He will be missed.
I grew up with Roger Williams music. I always enjoyed “Autumn Leaves” He was one of the best!!! As I am typing this I am listening to a vinyl 33 1/3 copy of Till/Roger Williams. Beautifully!!!
Saint Albans, WV
My dad, Dr. Thomas C. Wallace, would give Mr. Williams back treatments before and after his concerts anytime he was near our area. We have a couple of friendly letters Mr. Williams wrote. One was especially touching as he offered his condolences at the loss of my mother after her bout with cancer. I forgot to mention that at one particular concert, when I was only a few months old, Mr. Williams signed the back of my sleeper… While I was still in it!
Roger Williams is still my favorite musician. He was absolutely fantastic and seemed to be a great person.
His song Born Free Lives on as one of my favorites since childhood. I remember how the song always held a special place in me whenever I heard it.
Love his playing. Sorry I was never able to see him in person.
I graduated from Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska, and Roger played a concert for us there in about 1959 or 60. It was wonderful! I love to hear Roger play the piano!
Roger is a wonderful pianist. I am always pleased to hear all he plays.
Iowa City, Iowa
He was always one of my favorites. Had the privilege of studying piano with Dr.Schmidt, Roger’s graduate degree instructor at Drake University many years back. Roger went through the program ten or so years ahead of me,.. and left a campus filled with accolades, stories, and promise of a solid future with music.
SPRING VALLEY ILL
45 YRS I HAVE BEEN A FAN AND I STILL HAVE HIS VERY FIRST ALBUM.
I can listen to Mr. Williams all day every day. A tremendous pianist.
Kansas City, MO
Thank you Roger for making this world a better place because of your music. There’s only one Roger Williams touch … many have tried and all have failed. You play what people WANT to hear … and that’s why you’ll always be #1 in my book!!
I get hours of pleasure from listening to this music.
Las Vegas, Nevada
I had the great pleasure of knowing Roger personally.He was my stepdads cousin. So I guess you can say he was my cousin to. He will be so very much missed not only as a great pianist but also as a wonderful person. I am sure that his music will live on for years to come.
Thankfully, I can’t get tired of his wonderful music and I never will. He was a hero to me, both in his talent and person.
Roger was my favorite from 1959 and we will always remember his Special Gifted talent that he had, and left us with memories that will last forever, God Bless Roger Williams
I’ve always loved Roger’s 1960 album “Christmas Time”. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who feel the same way. I’m disappointed that its CD release was so limited, and that I can only get it from Amazon for no less than $75.00. I’m still stuck with my old scratchy LP. Would love to hear the music clean and clear. The album is on iTunes in Canada and UK, but not in the US. US citizens can’t download from iTunes in other countries.
I came across Roger Williams music today on YouTube and thought it absolutely wonderful. What a great pianist, such talent.
Roger left a great legacy as both a pianist and a human being. While he left us here on earth his music lives on and I am grateful.
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