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Roger Williams returns to the Suncoast Showroom

May 28, 2002 2:31 AM

Roger Williams, one of the most popular pop instrumentalists returns Thursday through Sunday at 8 p.m. to the Suncoast Showroom. For ticket information, 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 including breaking his nose a number of times, 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. 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 including Born Free, The Impossible Dream and The Theme from Somewhere in Time.

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.