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Roger Williams, 'Pianist To The Presidents,' Dead

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AUTUMN LEAVES")

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AUTUMN LEAVES")

CORNISH: This is NPR's WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Audie Cornish. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.