Roger began playing piano as a child, but he was lured into boxing while he was a high school student. After suffering several injuries, including breaking his nose a number of times, he decided to turn his full attention to music - he enrolled as a piano player at Drake University. As a student, he began playing hybrids of jazz, classical, and pop. A school official heard him playing "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" in one of the university's practice rooms and expelled the young musician!
Roger first burst on the popular music scene when he recorded "Autumn Leaves" in 1955. His version became an American classic and still stands as the greatest selling piano recording of all time. Roger followed with more million-selling records, charting Billboard Hits in four different decades - with hits including Born Free, The Impossible Dream, Till, Almost Paradise, Two Different Worlds, Lara's Theme From Dr. Zhivago and the Theme From Somewhere In Time.
Roger has performed at every major venue and with nearly every symphony orchestra, including Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl and The White House. His performance at the White House earned him the title of "Pianist to the Presidents" playing for eight chief executives.
The first pianist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Roger is also the first (and so far only) artist to receive the Steinway Lifetime Achievement Award. He set the record for the longest piano-playing marathon, logging 12 hours on his 75th birthday.
Roger Williams has played the music that has served as the soundtrack to the lives of three generations. He is starring in his second PBS special - "Roger Williams: Pop Goes The Ivories." A CD of his performance, his 115th recording, was released recently on the Gold Label.
The greatest selling pianist in history, Roger Williams has as astounding 18 gold and platinum albums to his credit.