Born: 1938 in Port Arthur, Texas
Died: May 10, 2005
An accomplished Trombonist, conductor, pianist, and arranger Bill Rogers graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1956 and went on to graduate from Lamar University. While in school, Bill’s talent was well know among the community and his school mates. He gave trombone lessons to up and coming players. His arranging talents were already developing, and he took on various projects for local and college performance groups.
His lengthy career includes arranging and conducting on the Las Vegas scene (including the house band that backed Frank Sinatra), and for such legends as Jerry Lewis, Shirley McLaine, Tony Bennett, Johnny Carson, Bill Cosby, Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Bob Hope and many others.
To his professional friends, Bill Rogers, was known, respected and remembered as a wonderfully talented bass trombonist, arranger and “Las Vegas” big band leader. His arrangements are still widely performed by professional, military, college and high school bands.
Bill left Las Vegas in 2003 as the smaller bands such as those of Willie Nelson Band and Kenny Rogers began to dominate the performing showrooms and venues. He subsequently dedicated much of his talent to arranging and conducting for Frank Sinatra, Jr. For a class reunion, and as a special tribute to his home town, Rogers wrote a symphonic arrangement of all the high school fight songs from Port Arthur.