Winterland Ballroom was an ice skating rink and music venue in San Francisco, California. Located at the corner of Post Street and Steiner Street, it was converted to exclusive use as a music venue in 1971 by concert promoter Bill Graham and became a common performance site for many famous rock artists. Graham formed a merchandising company called Winterland which sold concert shirts and official sports team merchandise. Winterland was built in 1928 for $1 million and operated through the Great Depression. Opened on June 29, 1928, it was known as the New Dreamland Auditorium. Sometime in the late 1930s, the name was changed to Winterland, it served as an ice skating rink, convertible into a seated entertainment venue. In 1936, Winterland began hosting the Johnson Ice Follies. In November 1944, the impresario Clifford C. Fischer staged an authorized production of the Folies Bergère, the Folies Bergère of 1944, at the Winterland Ballroom, it was host to opera and tennis matches. Starting on September 23, 1966, with a double bill of Jefferson Airplane and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Bill Graham began to rent the venue for larger concerts that his nearby Fillmore Auditorium could not properly accommodate.
After closing the Fillmore West in 1971, he began to hold regular weekend shows at Winterland. Various popular rock acts played there, including such bands and musicians as Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, The J. Geils Band, The Who, Black Sabbath, James Gang, Mahogany Rush, Quicksilver Messenger Service, UFO, REO Speedwagon, Slade, Cream, Kiss, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Morrison, The Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, The Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company w/ Janis Joplin, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Ten Years After, Electric Light Orchestra, Jefferson Airplane, Golden Earring, Grand Funk Railroad, Humble Pie, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Robin Trower, Sex Pistols, Lake & Palmer, Sha Na Na, Loggins and Messina, Lee Michaels, Journey, Deep Purple, J. J. Cale, Chambers Brothers, Alice Cooper, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Mountain, B. B. King, George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers and Elvis Costello. Led Zeppelin first performed their song Whole Lotta Love there.
Many of the best-known rock acts from the 1960s and 1970s played at Winterland or played two blocks away across Geary Boulevard at the original Fillmore Auditorium. Peter Frampton recorded parts of the fourth best-selling live album Frampton Comes Alive!, at Winterland. The Grateful Dead made Winterland their home base and The Band played their last show there on Thanksgiving Day 1976; that concert, featuring numerous guest performers including Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, many others, was filmed by Martin Scorsese and released in theaters and as a soundtrack under the name The Last Waltz. Winterland was host to the Sex Pistols' final show on January 14, 1978. During Winterland's final month of existence, shows were booked nearly every night. Acts included The Tubes, Smokey Robinson, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, on December 15–16, 1978, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. Springsteen's December 15 show was simulcast on local radio station KSAN-FM. Winterland closed on New Year's Eve 1978 / New Year's Day 1979 with a concert by the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Blues Brothers.
The show lasted for over eight hours, with the Grateful Dead's performance—documented on DVD and CD as The Closing of Winterland—lasting nearly six hours. After the show, the crowd was treated to a buffet-style breakfast; the final show was simulcast on radio station KSAN-FM and broadcast live on the local PBS TV station KQED. Winterland was razed in 1985 and replaced by apartments; the following films and recordings were made in whole or in part at the Winterland Ballroom: The Band – The Last Waltz Grateful Dead – The Grateful Dead Movie, The Closing of Winterland Sha Na Na – Live at Winterland Kiss – Kissology Volume One: 1974–1977 Sex Pistols – The Filth and the Fury The Allman Brothers Band – Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas Big Brother and the Holding Company – Live at Winterland'68 Cream – Wheels of Fire, Live Cream, Live Cream Volume II, Those Were the Days Electric Light Orchestra – Live at Winterland'76 Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive! Grateful Dead – Steal Your Face, Dick's Picks Volume 10, So Many Roads, The Closing of Winterland, The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack, Winterland: 1973: The Complete Recordings, Road Trips Volume 1 Number 4, Winterland June 1977: The Complete Recordings, Dave's Picks Volume 13 Jimi Hendrix – Live at Winterland, The Jimi Hendrix Concerts, Winterland The Doors – Boot Yer Butt: The Doors Bootlegs Jefferson Airplane – Thirty Seconds Over Winterland Loggins and Messina - On Stage Sammy Hagar – All Night Long Bruce Springsteen – Live/1975–85 The Band – The Last Waltz Humble Pie – Live at Winterland Paul Butterfield's Better Days – Live at Winterland Ballroom Sha Na Na – The Golden Age of Rock'n' Roll Sutherland Brothers & Quiver – Winterland Winterland shows Winterland Ballroom Posters at www.janisjoplin.net "Grateful Dead – The Closing of Winterland" "SF Chronicle on Winterlands closing" Winterland photos and fan website
Joan Chandos Baez is an American singer, songwriter and activist whose contemporary folk music includes songs of protest or social justice. Baez has performed publicly for over 60 years, releasing over 30 albums. Fluent in Spanish and English, she has recorded songs in at least six other languages. Although regarded as a folk singer, her music has diversified since the counterculture era of the 1960s, encompasses genres such as folk rock, pop and gospel music. Although a songwriter herself, Baez interprets other composers' work, having recorded songs by Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers Band, the Beatles, Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen, Woody Guthrie, Violeta Parra, the Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and many others. On her past several albums, she has found success interpreting songs of more recent songwriters, including Ryan Adams, Josh Ritter, Steve Earle, Natalie Merchant and Joe Henry, she achieved immediate success. Her first three albums, Joan Baez, Joan Baez, Vol. 2, Joan Baez in Concert all achieved gold record status.
Songs of acclaim include "Diamonds & Rust" and covers of Phil Ochs's "There but for Fortune" and The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". She is known for "Farewell, Angelina", "Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word", "Forever Young", "Here's to You", "Joe Hill", "Sweet Sir Galahad" and "We Shall Overcome", she was one of the first major artists to record the songs of Bob Dylan in the early 1960s. Baez performed fourteen songs at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and has displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social activism in the fields of nonviolence, civil rights, human rights and the environment. Baez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017. Baez was born on Staten Island, New York, on January 9, 1941. Joan's grandfather, the Reverend Alberto Baez, left the Catholic Church to become a Methodist minister and moved to the U. S. when her father was two years old. Her father, Albert Baez, was born in Puebla and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where his father preached to—and advocated for—a Spanish-speaking congregation.
Albert first considered becoming a minister but instead turned to the study of mathematics and physics and received his PhD degree at Stanford University in 1950. Albert was credited as a co-inventor of the x-ray microscope. Joan's cousin, John C. Baez, is a mathematical physicist, her mother, Joan Baez, referred to as Joan Senior or "Big Joan", was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1913 as the second daughter of an English Anglican priest who claimed to be descended from the Dukes of Chandos. Born in April 1913, she died on days after her one hundredth birthday. Baez had two sisters – Pauline Thalia Baez Bryan, sometimes professionally known as Pauline Marden. To varying degrees, both women were political activists and musicians like their sister, they are notable for having been married to other American artists – Pauline to painter Brice Marden and Mimi to author and musician Richard Fariña with whom she collaborated for several years. The Baez family converted to Quakerism during Joan's early childhood, she has continued to identify with the tradition in her commitment to pacifism and social issues.
While growing up, Baez was subjected to racial slurs and discrimination due to her Mexican heritage. She became involved with a variety of social causes early in her career, she declined to play in any white student venues that were segregated, which meant that when she toured the Southern states, she would play only at black colleges. Joan graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1958. Due to her father's work with UNESCO, their family moved many times, living in towns across the U. S, as well as in England, Switzerland, Spain and the Middle East, including Iraq. Joan Baez became involved with a variety of social causes early in her career, including civil rights and non-violence. Social justice, she stated in the PBS series American Masters, is the true core of her life, "looming larger than music"; the opening line of Baez's memoir And a Voice to Sing With is "I was born gifted". A friend of Joan's father gave her a ukulele, she learned four chords, which enabled her to play rhythm and blues, the music she was listening to at the time.
Her parents, were fearful that the music would lead her into a life of drug addiction. When Baez was 13, her aunt and her aunt's boyfriend took her to a concert by folk musician Pete Seeger, Baez found herself moved by his music, she soon began performing them publicly. One of her earliest public performances was at a retreat in Saratoga, California for a youth group from Temple Beth Jacob, a Redwood City, California Jewish congregation. A few years in 1957, Baez bought her first Gibson acoustic guitar. In 1958, her father accepted a faculty position at MIT, moved his family to Massachusetts. At that time, it was in the center of the up-and-coming folk-music scene, Baez began performing near home in Boston and nearby Cambridge, she performed in clubs, attended Boston University for about six weeks. In 1958, at the Club 47 in Cambridge, she gave her first concert; when designing the poster for the performance, Baez considered changing her performing name to either Rachel Sandperl, the surname of her long-t
McCune Audio Video Lighting is an American company based in South San Francisco, with offices in Monterey and Anaheim. It is one of the oldest and largest audio visual rental and sound services in the U. S. McCune was founded in 1932 by Harry McCune Sr, McCune AVL provides audio and high-definition video services to events as varied as outdoor festivals such as the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Bohemian Grove, to arena conferences such as TED. In December 2017, Atlanta-based Shepard Exposition Services bought McCune. Harry McCune, Sr. was working days as an automotive mechanic. He liked working on radio equipment, small audio sound systems. McCune built a small amplified sound system, founded McCune Sound Service in 1932, he built several small sound systems before he completed one large enough to handle a large dance band. He would rent out his sound system and operate the equipment for $1.00 on a Friday night. McCune would give the equipment rental for free on the next Saturday night. Harry McCune began renting sound systems more to various big bands in the 1930s and 1940s, with his son, Harry McCune, Jr. would help radio engineers broadcast the concerts live over AM radio from ballrooms in San Francisco.
In the 1940s, McCune Sound operated out of 10 Brady Street in San Francisco, centrally located near the Civic Center. In 1963, McCune adopted the name "Channel X" for its video production services. In the 1960s, McCune operated from 960 Folsom Street in the South of Market area. In 1969, the company moved to 951 Howard Street, built an audio and video recording studio within the structure. McCune expanded to both sides of Howard Street. Still expanding, the company moved to a single large building on 2200 Army Street named Cesar Chavez Street, before moving to their current location at 101 Utah Avenue in South San Francisco. McCune Sound has been credited with creating and improving many of the concepts of the modern day live concert performance, was one of the first sound companies to provide touring sound systems, beginning in 1965 with Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass and progressing to diverse acts as Andy Williams, Dionne Warwick, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Steely Dan, John Davidson, Crystal Gayle, many others.
One of the first times that a stage monitor was used for a live concert, the monitor was provided by McCune Sound. The concert was at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium; the concert rehearsal was not going well, Harry McCune Jr. came up with the idea of pointing a stage speaker at Garland. McCune ran to his truck, drove to the McCune office. McCune brought it back to the concert rehearsal. McCune placed the added speaker on the corner of the stage, he took an audio feed off the main system, turned up the mixer, Miss Garland was pleased with the added monitor sound. In the late 1960s the music scene was flourishing in San Francisco, so was sound design itself; the Monterey Pop Festival and before that, The Beatles' last-ever live concert performance, held at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, had sound sysems provided by McCune Sound. During the Beatle's Candlestick concert the sound system could not be heard well over the screaming of the Beatles fans. Mort Feld of McCune Sound mixed the Candlestick Park house sound for the Beatles concert that day.
In the late 1960s, engineer Dan Healy drew from McCune equipment to amplify the Grateful Dead. McCune thrived in the concert market during the early 1970s and 1980s, branched out into theatre, supplying equipment for East Coast companies like ProMix and Masque Sound, at the same time creating the famed "wall of sound" for the Grateful Dead, creating touring systems for Jefferson Airplane, CCR and others. Employees John Meyer and Bob Cavin created an active speaker system in 1971 known as the JM-3, named for John Meyer; this sound equipment was a three-way loudspeaker, tri-amped system that enclosed the power amplifiers and all of the integrated electronics associated with the loudspeakers in an external equipment rack with few or no controls, the settings having all been calibrated at the audio shop. The horn-loaded system was used on CCR's final tour; the amplifier enclosure included preset crossover filters and equalization. The outside of the amplifier rack was simple: a two-circuit AC power cable connection, XLR connectors for input audio signal, two 4-pin female twist-lock NEMA L14-30 connectors for carrying the amplified 3-way audio signal to two JM-3 loudspeakers.
Bob Cavin was a pioneer in designing and building consoles, systems designed and fabricated at McCune were being used on Broadway, with touring acts and at Las Vegas show rooms. Taking these McCune sound systems out to Broadway was Abe Jacob, an early and influential sound designer. Jacob got his start at McCune touring with Peter and Mary and several other acts. Abe moved to New York and worked on Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, A Chorus Line and many other shows using McCune equipment. Harry McCune Jr. had little desire to grow the speaker manufacturing process beyond the needs of his immediate clientele, which he believed the mass production of his speakers to sell might detract from his core sound rental business. Several McCune employees saw the future of stage and concert audio, John Meyer left McCune to form Meyer Sound Laboratories, while Ken Deloria and Bob Cavin formed Apogee Sound. John Meyer, the founder of Meyer Sound Laboratories Bob Cavin Ken DeLoria, President
Founded on June 3, 1770, Monterey was the capital of Alta California under both Spain and Mexico until 1850. Monterey hosted California's first theater, public building, public library, publicly funded school, printing press, newspaper. Monterey was the only port of entry for taxable goods in California. In 1846, the U. S. flag was raised over the Customs House, California became part of the United States after the Mexican–American War. The city is located in Monterey County in the U. S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. The city hall is at 26 feet above sea level, the city occupies a land area of 8.466 sq mi. The 2010 census recorded a population of 27,810; the city and surrounding area have attracted artists since the late 19th century and many celebrated painters and writers have lived there. Until the 1950s, there was an abundant fishery. Among Monterey's notable present-day attractions are the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf and the annual Monterey Jazz Festival.
Long before the arrival of Spanish explorers, the Rumsen Ohlone tribe, one of seven linguistically distinct Ohlone groups in California, inhabited the area now known as Monterey. They subsisted by hunting and gathering food on and around the biologically rich Monterey Peninsula. Researchers have found a number of shell middens in the area and, based on the archaeological evidence, concluded the Ohlone's primary marine food consisted at various times of mussels and abalone. A number of midden sites have been located along about 12 miles of rocky coast on the Monterey Peninsula from the current site of Fishermans' Wharf in Monterey to Carmel. In 1602, Spanish maritime explorer Sebastian Vizcaino recorded the name "Bahía de Monterrey", which has evolved into Monterey Bay. Vizcaino landed at the southern end of the bay and described a great port, suitable for use as an anchorage by southbound Manila galleons. Vizcaino noted and named the "Point of Pines". All other uses of the name Monterey derive from Vizcaino's name for the bay.
Variants of the city's name are recorded as Monte Montery. In 1769, the first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish Portolá expedition, traveled north from San Diego, seeking Vizcaino's "Port of Monterey" from 167 years earlier. For some reason, the explorers failed to recognize the place when they came to it on October 1, 1769; the party continued north as far as San Francisco Bay before turning back. On the return journey, they camped near one of Monterey's lagoons on November 27, still not convinced they had found the place Vizcaino had described. Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí noted in his diary, "We halted in sight of the Point of Pines and camped near a small lagoon which has rather muddy water, but abounds in pasture and firewood."Portolá returned by land to Monterey the next year, having concluded that he must have been at Vizcaino's Port of Monterey after all. The land party was met at Monterey by Junípero Serra. Portolá erected the Presidio of Monterey to defend the port and, on June 3, 1770, Serra founded the Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo inside the presidio enclosure.
Portolá returned to Mexico, replaced in Monterey by Captain Pedro Fages, third in command on the exploratory expeditions. Fages became the second governor of Alta California, serving from 1770 to 1774. San Diego is the only city in California older than Monterey. Serra's missionary aims soon came into conflict with Fages and the soldiers, he moved the mission to Carmel the following year to gain greater independence from Fages; the existing wood and adobe building became the chapel for the Presidio. Monterey became the capital of the "Province of Both Californias" in 1777, the chapel was renamed the Royal Presidio Chapel; the original church was replaced by the present sandstone structure. It was completed in 1794 by Indian labor. In 1840, the chapel was rededicated to the patronage of Saint Charles Borromeo; the cathedral is the oldest continuously operating parish and the oldest stone building in California. It is the oldest serving cathedral along with St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana.
It is the only existing presidio chapel in California and the only surviving building from the original Monterey Presidio. The city was the only port of entry for all taxable goods in California. All shipments into California by sea were required to go through the Custom House, the oldest governmental building in the state and California's Historic Landmark Number One. Built in three phases, the Spanish began construction of the Custom House in 1814, the Mexican government completed the center section in 1827, the United States government finished the lower end in 1846. On 24 November 1818 Argentine corsair Hippolyte Bouchard landed 7 km away from the Presidio of Monterey in a hidden creek; the fort resisted ineffectively, after an hour of combat the Argentine flag flew over it. The Argentines took the city for six days, during which time they stole the cattle and burned the fort, the artillery headquarters, the governor's residence and the Spanish houses; the town's residents were unharmed. Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, but the civil and religious institutions of Alta California remained much the same until the 1830s, when the secularization of the missions converted most of the mission pasture lands into private land grant ranchos.
Monterey was the site of the Battle of Monterey on July 1846, during the Mexican -- American War. It was on
The Ampex 601 was a portable, reel-to-reel tape recorder produced by The Ampex Corporation from the mid-1950s through the 1960s. Ampex manufactured dual-channel version; the suitcase-sized, 26 lb. unit was designed for the professional recording applications. It recorded to 1/4 - inch tape on 7-inch reels; the Ampex 601 was preceded by the Ampex 600. Although there was no officially-released Ampex 600-2, there were factory bulletins available which detailed how to change the second electronics to support the equivalent of 600-2 mode, this made use of the 601-2's head stack possible, thereby creating the functional equivalent of a 600-2; the Ampex 601 was succeeded by the Ampex 602, available as 602 and 602-2 models. The Ampex 600 and 601 were housed in light brown Samsonite cases. Optionally, the machine could be 19" rack-mounted, using an adapter plate; the Ampex 602 was housed in a dark brown Samsonite case with similar rack-mounting provisions. Companion speaker-amplifiers were available, were housed in the same style cases.
Models 620, 621 and 622. Https://web.archive.org/web/20100521094749/http://eshop1.chem.buffalo.edu/AMPEX.html http://jproc.ca/rrp/ampex_601.html https://web.archive.org/web/20060929035149/http://ftp.ampex.com/ampex/manuals/audio/601man/601schem.gif https://web.archive.org/web/20060929035309/http://ftp.ampex.com/ampex/manuals/audio/601man/601-man.pdf
John Meyer (audio engineer)
John Meyer is a pioneer in the sound reinforcement industry. In 1979 he founded Meyer Sound Laboratories with Helen Meyer. John Meyer grew up in California, his earliest involvement with audio was in the late 1950s at the radio station KPFA. He received a radiotelephone third class license at 12 years old, a second class license when he was 15, he attended Oakland High, one of the first schools in the country to have an audio department. In the audio department he would build consoles and other audio devicesJohn Meyer started his career in 1967 working in a Berkeley hi-fi store doing custom installs. There he met Steve Miller, looking to outfit his band. John Meyer assembled a custom amplification system for The Steve Miller Band when they appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival. John worked with Jim Meagher of Meagher Electronics at the Monterey Pop Festival. Soon after John Meyer started a company called Glyph to design and build sound reinforcement systems. Glyph's first installation was at a San Rafael club called Pepperland.
It was a pure exponential horn-loaded bi-amped quadraphonic sound system. Each stack included mid-range and hi frequency horns; the bass horns were huge. This system was used from 1969 until 1970. In 1971 he started working for McCune Sound Service. McCune was interested in building reliable transportable sound systems. While at McCune John first realized his idea of a integrated loudspeaker system; the system was built for Creedence Clearwater Revival's last tour. It was a integrated tri-amped, horn-loaded system with processing electronics. Three amps were built into a rack mountable enclosure; the enclosure included preset cross-overs and equalization. The outside of the enclosure was simple: an AC cord, input connectors, 4-pin connectors that plugged into the loudspeakers; the original model did not have a power switch. While at McCune, John Meyer started doing sound reinforcement work with outdoor classical music symphony concerts at Stanford University; this led to an involvement with the Institute of Advanced Music Studies in Montreux, Switzerland, exploring the idea of building a high quality sound reinforcement system for classical music.
In 1973, he was invited to perform research at the Institute. One of his primary goals was to research the origins of non-linearity in audio transducers, he spent one and a half years in Switzerland. While there, he designed a modular loudspeaker system and a high-frequency horn driver that led directly to some of the initial innovations at Meyer Sound Laboratories. During the early 1970s, Meyer was involved with the Grateful Dead, providing them audio advice and performing audio research and experimentation with Don Pearson and Owsley Stanley. In the 1970s, Meyer met a neighbor in Berkeley. John and Helen's first official date was to the high-end hi-fi store in Berkeley he was working at to listen to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on a pair of Klipsch horns; this was Helen's first introduction to quality sound reproduction. John and Helen founded Meyer Sound Laboratories in 1979 after his return from Switzerland; the company was started in San Leandro and moved to Berkeley California. In 2005, Meyer was made a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society, in 2007, he was awarded the organization's Silver Medal.
Meyer Sound website
Roger Williams (pianist)
Roger Williams was an American popular music pianist. Weertz was born to a Lutheran minister, the Rev. Frederick J. Weertz and a music teacher, Dorothea Bang Weertz, in Omaha, Nebraska; the family moved to Des Moines, before his first birthday. He first played the piano at age three. In high school he became interested in boxing at his father's insistence, returned to music only after breaking his nose several times and sustaining several other injuries. Weertz majored in piano at Drake University in Des Moines, but was expelled for playing "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" in the practice room instead of classical music. Weertz entered the United States Navy and served in World War II. While still in the Navy, he earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Idaho State College in 1950. Afterward, Weertz re-enrolled at Drake, where he earned his master's degree in music in 1951, he moved to New York City to attend Juilliard, where he studied jazz piano under Lennie Tristano and Teddy Wilson. During 1951-1952 Weertz won 2 talent contests: "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" and Dennis James "Chance of a Lifetime" television program.
David Kapp, the founder of Kapp Records, heard him play at the Hotel Madison and was so impressed that he signed the pianist, giving him the professional name "Roger Williams" after the founder of Rhode Island. In 1955 Williams recorded "Autumn Leaves", the only piano instrumental to reach #1 on Billboard's popular music chart, it sold over two million copies, was awarded a gold record. It was the fourth #1 song of the "rock era," which unofficially began with the ascension of " Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets into the top spot. In 1966 he had another Top Ten hit with the song "Born Free" from the motion picture soundtrack, his other hits include "Near You", "Till", "The Impossible Dream", "Yellow Bird", "Maria", "The Theme from Somewhere in Time", part of the film's music score. Billboard magazine ranks him as the top-selling piano recording artist in history with 21 gold and platinum albums to his credit. Williams was known as the "Pianist to the Presidents", having played for nine US Presidential administrations, beginning with Harry S. Truman.
His last White House performance was in November 2008 for a luncheon hosted by First Lady Laura Bush. On his 75th birthday, Williams performed his first 12-hour piano marathon, he performed the marathon at Steinway Hall in New York City and the Nixon and Reagan Presidential Libraries. He was a Steinway Artist and was awarded their "Steinway Lifetime Achievement Award." His Steinway & Sons "Roger Williams Limited Edition Gold Steinway" piano was designed by Steinway in his honor. This grand piano was on tour for public display and entertainment during 2007–2008. In 2010, Roger Williams was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. Williams developed his particular attitude to his public from a boyhood experience in Des Moines, Iowa. After a piano concert by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, he waited for 45 minutes outside in cold weather to meet Paderewski; when the pianist appeared, it was to rush to a waiting automobile. Williams who had waited was upset. I didn't get near enough to touch him or get an autograph.
It was and there I resolved that if I became famous I would never disappoint anyone who wanted to talk to me. In March 2011 Williams posted on his website that he had pancreatic cancer and that his doctors had told him they could not remove the tumor until chemotherapy shrunk it to an operable size. Williams said, he wrote: "What does it all mean? It means I'm in just one more fight — the fight for my life... And this much I know, this old Navy boxing champion is going for broke. Just watch me!" He died on October 2011, one week after his 87th birthday. Williams was married twice, his first marriage produced three children. Both marriages ended in divorce; the Boy Next Door - 1957 It's a Big Wide Wonderful World - 1958 Roger Williams with Orchestra - 1955 Daydreams - 1955 Roger Williams Plays the Wonderful Music of the Masters - 1956 Roger Williams Plays Christmas Songs - 1956 Roger Williams Plays Beautiful Waltzes - 1957 Almost Paradise - 1957 Songs of the Fabulous Fifties - 1957 Songs of the Fabulous Forties - 1957 Songs of the Fabulous Century - 1958 Till - 1958 Roger Williams Plays Gershwin - 1958 Near You - 1959 More Songs of the Fabulous Fifties - 1959 With These Hands - 1959 Christmas Time - 1959 Always - Melodies That Will Live Forever - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Forties - Part 1 - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Forties - Part 2 - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Fifties - Part 1 - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Fifties - Part 2 - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Century - Part 1 - 1960 Songs of the Fabulous Century - Part 2 - 1960 Temptation - 1960 Roger Williams Invites You to Dance - 1961 Yellow Bird - 1961 Songs of the Soaring'60s - Vol. 1 - 1961 Roger Williams at Town Hall - 1961 Greatest Hits - 1962 Maria - 1962 Mr. Piano - 1962 Country