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Roger Williams

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2011 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Roger Williams, a pianist who was one of the most popular instrumentalists of the mid-20th century and who hit No. 1 on the pop charts in 1955 with his arpeggio-strewn "Autumn Leaves," has died. He was 87. Williams died Saturday at his Los Angeles home of complications from pancreatic cancer, his former publicist, Rob Wilcox, told the Associated Press. "The biggest thing I have to offer," Williams told Time magazine in 1968, "is emotion. I think I play with more feeling than any other pop pianist.
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
While Uganda's parliament considers an anti-homosexuality bill, which would mandate the death penalty for serial "offenders," Western-supported megachurches flourish in the African country. Roger Ross Williams' incisive and absorbing documentary "God Loves Uganda" makes a compelling case for the link between the two situations without connecting all the dots for viewers, and without condemning the young missionaries who flock to "the pearl of Africa" believing they are saving souls. Williams' alarm is balanced by his measured observation of a group of twentysomethings from the Kansas City-based International House of Prayer.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2012 | By Scott Martelle, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty John M. Barry Viking: 465 pp., $35 There's a recurring theme among the religiously political/politically religious that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and that in this modern era we have somehow strayed from God and from our roots. John M. Barry's new book "Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty" is a counterargument and it is a significant reminder of whence, exactly, this little experiment in democracy of ours came.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 2013 | By Scott Martelle
We have, when you think about it, always been an argumentative culture and society, even before we became a country. And we've been arguing ever since, for better or worse, and with varying degrees of skill. The nature of argument was part of the focus of the "American Arguments" panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday moderated by L.A. Times editor-at-large Jim Newton, which drew together four history authors whose books explore some of the key formative arguments of American history.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 23, 1998 | DON HECKMAN
Call it an odd-couple pairing at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts on Friday night. The bubbly, bawdy, effervescently humorous singing and guitar playing of Charro, followed by the mannered, carefully controlled piano playing of Roger Williams.
NEWS
April 27, 2001 | ANTHONY DAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"I, Roger Williams" is a beautiful work of art. Daring in conception, elegantly deft in execution, this novel about early life in the American colonies makes vividly present the doughty character of the English Puritan who rose above his time and place to create, with his own work-worn hands, the king post of American liberty. "In a free state," Settle quotes from Williams' words, "no magistrate hath power over the bodies, goods, lands, liberties of a free people, but by their consent."
OPINION
February 5, 2012 | By John M. Barry
In January, while conservative Christians and GOP presidential candidates were charging that "elites" have launched "a war against religion," a federal court in Rhode Island ordered a public school to remove a prayer mounted on a wall because it imposed a belief on 16-year-old Jessica Ahlquist. The ruling seems particularly fitting because it was consistent not only with the 1st Amendment but with the intent of Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island expressly to provide religious liberty and who called such forced exposure to prayer "spiritual rape.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 29, 1996 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Easy listening never had it so good. Blame it on the fickle tide of culture and fashion, where yesterday's stale goods become today's rediscoveries. Blame it on late-blooming recognition of national treasures. But numbers, record company activity, and the sales behavior of the younger music-loving set speak volumes. Cheesy is in.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 29, 1996 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Easy listening never had it so good. Blame it on the fickle tide of culture and fashion, where yesterday's stale goods become today's rediscoveries. Blame it on late-blooming recognition of national treasures. But numbers, record company activity, and the sales behavior of the younger music-loving set speak volumes. Cheesy is in. The 70-something Juan Garcia Esquivel, master of so-called space-age bachelor-pad music, is suddenly a reigning hero, and compilations of music formerly relegated to elevators and the cocktail-lounge scene are filing steadily into stores.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 2013 | By Scott Martelle
We have, when you think about it, always been an argumentative culture and society, even before we became a country. And we've been arguing ever since, for better or worse, and with varying degrees of skill. The nature of argument was part of the focus of the "American Arguments" panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday moderated by L.A. Times editor-at-large Jim Newton, which drew together four history authors whose books explore some of the key formative arguments of American history.
NATIONAL
April 19, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
WEST, Texas - About 60 people remained unaccounted for after the explosion at a fertilizer plant here, but authorities remain hopeful that number reflects not a significant loss of life but the difficulty of tracking down people who have been hospitalized or who may have taken shelter with others. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) revealed the number of missing Friday after visiting the area devastated by the explosion. Cornyn was joined by two congressmen, and the three lawmakers described the damage inflicted by the blast at West Fertilizer Co. on Wednesday night.
OPINION
February 5, 2012 | By John M. Barry
In January, while conservative Christians and GOP presidential candidates were charging that "elites" have launched "a war against religion," a federal court in Rhode Island ordered a public school to remove a prayer mounted on a wall because it imposed a belief on 16-year-old Jessica Ahlquist. The ruling seems particularly fitting because it was consistent not only with the 1st Amendment but with the intent of Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island expressly to provide religious liberty and who called such forced exposure to prayer "spiritual rape.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2012 | By Scott Martelle, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty John M. Barry Viking: 465 pp., $35 There's a recurring theme among the religiously political/politically religious that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and that in this modern era we have somehow strayed from God and from our roots. John M. Barry's new book "Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty" is a counterargument and it is a significant reminder of whence, exactly, this little experiment in democracy of ours came.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2011 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Roger Williams, a pianist who was one of the most popular instrumentalists of the mid-20th century and who hit No. 1 on the pop charts in 1955 with his arpeggio-strewn "Autumn Leaves," has died. He was 87. Williams died Saturday at his Los Angeles home of complications from pancreatic cancer, his former publicist, Rob Wilcox, told the Associated Press. "The biggest thing I have to offer," Williams told Time magazine in 1968, "is emotion. I think I play with more feeling than any other pop pianist.
SPORTS
August 30, 2009
The U.S. Open begins Monday at the USTA National Tennis Center in New York. Diane Pucin offers a quick overview of the tournament: Top five players to watch, men's draw It's hard to argue against the top-seeded and No. 1 player in the world, Roger Federer, who is aiming to become the first man since Bill Tilden in the 1920s to win six consecutive U.S. Open championships. Behind Federer things aren't so clear. The second-seeded player is Andy Murray, not Rafael Nadal. Nadal's major-championship season has been halting since he beat Federer in an emotional Australian Open final.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 2002 | David Haldane, Times Staff Writer
The silky notes were as kisses to the audience Sunday as famed "pianist to the presidents" Roger Williams celebrated his 78th birthday with a 13-hour ivory-tickling marathon at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda. Among the tunes he played were several renditions of "Happy Birthday," as well as an unnamed song written by Nixon himself and performed only once before: on Jack Paar's television show in 1963. "Just Nixon played it," Williams said, "and not very well."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 1994 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Roger Williams still laughs when he remembers the day he recorded "Autumn Leaves," his first hit. It was the mid-'50s, and the then-virtually unknown pianist was struggling hard just to survive another New York City winter. "When Dave Kapp, the producer, asked me to record the tune," said Williams, who performs with the Pacific Symphony tonight and Saturday in Costa Mesa, "I was barely aware of it, and I thought it was called 'Falling Leaves.'
OPINION
June 29, 2002
"Students Reach for High Note" (June 21), on the incredible job that conductor Christopher Schwabe did for the Santa Monica High School Symphony students in inspiring them toward their Carnegie Hall performance, and the subsequent fund-raising work, should really make the rest of us want to reach into our purses because music programs in most schools have been cut to the bone. It's all there for us, folks. The "Mozart effect" theory indicates that music helps to increase brain power, and now the accomplishments of these young students are our perfect reward.
OPINION
June 29, 2002
"Students Reach for High Note" (June 21), on the incredible job that conductor Christopher Schwabe did for the Santa Monica High School Symphony students in inspiring them toward their Carnegie Hall performance, and the subsequent fund-raising work, should really make the rest of us want to reach into our purses because music programs in most schools have been cut to the bone. It's all there for us, folks. The "Mozart effect" theory indicates that music helps to increase brain power, and now the accomplishments of these young students are our perfect reward.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2001 | DAVID KELLY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In his flowered shirt and tan slacks, pianist Roger Williams made it look so easy. He tickled the old Steinway one-handed, switched tunes in midchord and took requests from the more than 800 people who showed up Tuesday to watch him perform for more than 12 hours at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library near Simi Valley. "I want two things standing by," said Williams, 76, who is donating his piano to the museum. "A wheelchair and a hearse."
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