You are listening to the work
of a North High graduate, class of 1942's Louis Weertz, aka Roger Williams, playing
"Autumn Leaves." With an astounding 115 (18 gold and platinum) albums
to his credit, Williams is the greatest selling pianist in history. Williams first
burst onto 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, Almost Paradise, Lara's
Theme from Dr. Zhivago," and "Theme From Somewhere In Time." He
has performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl and the White
House. The latter has earned him the title of "Pianist to the Presidents"
playing for eight chief executives. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
and is the only artist to receive the Steinway Lifetime Achievement Award. He
continues with 30-40 concerts a year. At 79, on October 2, 2003, Roger played
a 13-1/2 hour marathon concert in Palm Springs. He runs three miles a day.
North High grads...Roger began practicing at the age of three on a piano in the
basement of St. John's Lutheran Church, Sixth and Keo, Des Moines, where his father
was the pastor. Roger was later the choir director there.