Legendary pianist Roger Williams dies at age 87
Virtuoso pianist Roger Williams has died at the age of 87, according to the AP. The Juillard-trained musician scored a massive hit in 1955 with “Autumn Leaves,” which remains the only piano instrumental to reach No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart. His other hits included “Born Free” and “Lara’s Theme from Dr Zhivago.”
In all, the prolific Williams recorded more than 100 albums and became famous in his later years for playing marathon, 12-hour long concerts. He also performed for every commander in chief from Harry Truman to George H.W. Bush, earning the nickname “pianist to the presidents” along the way. He played his last show in March, shortly after announcing that he had cancer.