Roger Williams, 'Pianist To The Presidents,' Dead

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The song that made pianist Roger Williams famous was "Autumn Leaves." It was No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart for four weeks in 1955, the only piano instrumental in history to reach that spot. Host Audie Cornish has a remembrance of Williams, who died on Saturday.

AUDIE CORNISH, host: Pianist Roger Williams has died. This is the song that first made him famous, "Autumn Leaves." It was number one on the singles Billboard for four weeks in 1955, the only piano instrumental in history to reach that spot.


CORNISH: Roger Williams was called the Pianist to the Presidents. He played for nine of them. Well known for his renditions of songs like "Born Free" and "The Impossible Dream," Williams recorded over a hundred albums in his life. He was 87 when he died yesterday.


CORNISH: This is NPR's WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Audie Cornish.

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