Roger Williams takes the stage at the Suncoast

Jan 8, 2002 12:52 AM

Roger Williams, one of the most popular pop instrumentalists, returns to Las Vegas after a 20-year absence to perform Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Suncoast showroom. For tickets, call (702) 636-7075.

Roger began playing piano as a child, but he was lured into boxing while he was a high school student. After suffering several injuries, he decided to turn his full attention to music, enrolling as a piano major at Drake University. As a student, he began playing hybrids of jazz, classical and pop.

Roger first burst on the popular music scene when he recorded Autumn Leaves in 1955. His version became an American classic 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 including Born Free, The Impossible Dream 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.

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 compact disc of the performance, his 115th album was released recently on the Gold Label.

The greatest selling pianist in history, Roger Williams has an astounding 18 gold and platinum albums to his credit.