About Bill Meyers
Bill Meyers is a prolific pianist, composer, producer, arranger, and conductor whose multifaceted approach to music has made him a legend among fellow musicians of all stripes. His list of credits includes collaborations with Justin Timberlake, Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Madonna, Rod Stewart, Brian McKnight, and many more. Meyers has also conducted, arranged, or composed music for films such as Dreamgirls, Armed & Dangerous, Dick Tracy, and Starship Troopers 3: Marauder.
Meyers, who lives in Los Angeles but hails from Illinois, demonstrated a love for the arts at an early age, but it was on his family's Hammond organ that he discovered his musical calling. He began taking lessons, studying the classical tradition, and played throughout high school. He won a scholarship to DePaul University, where he discovered jazz and pop. According to the artist: "Chicago was a big blues town, I also got heavily into R&B while retaining my love for organized music. That's what led me into pop orchestration."
Upon completing his education, he began to cut demos of the music he was writing and arranging. One of these found its way into the hands of Gino Vanelli, who hired Meyers as his band's keyboardist. Word of his abilities spread. Shortly thereafter, these credentials as well as the superlatives from Vanelli and his bandmates won him touring spots with artists including George Duke, Boz Scaggs, Lou Rawls, and Madonna. Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire also discovered Meyers' music. The pair began a long and fruitful association that gave him the opportunity to produce, arrange, and play on a number of Earth, Wind & Fire albums, including I Am, Powerlight, Touch the World, and Heritage. In 2006, Meyers co-composed and orchestrated original music with White for the Broadway play Hott Feet.
After relocating to Los Angeles in the late '80s, Meyers joined the ranks of the industry's most in-demand studio musicians. He contributed his talents to the recordings of artists Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Sheila E., and the Four Tops, to name a few. As a songwriter, his compositions were recorded by Neil Diamond, Rufus, Donna Summer, and the Emotions, among others.
As an arranger, Meyers topped the pop charts with his string chart for Madonna's smash "Papa Don't Preach" as well as further arrangements for her albums Like a Prayer and I'm Breathless. He arranged the horns on the classic Earth, Wind & Fire track "Let's Groove" and Destiny's Child's cover of the Bee Gees' "Emotion," and handled the orchestration on Brian McKnight's "Back at One."
In addition to the aforementioned films, Meyers has written extensively for television, including the two series Standoff and Life Is Wild, as well as The Maury Povitch Show and Inside the NBA.
Meyers is also a headline recording artist. His debut offering, 1986's all-instrumental, orchestral Images, was nominated for a Grammy. He followed it in 1990 with The Color of the Truth, issued on Japan's Pony Canyon label. While his composing, studio, producing, and arranging work for other artists has kept him intensely busy, he found time to record his third solo album as a leader, the 1996 contemporary jazz, world fusion, adult contemporary R&B offering All Things in Time, which featured a cover of Donny Hathaway's "Valdez in the Country" and a guest spot from Earth, Wind & Fire on the track "Sky." In 1999, he and White collaborated on and released the score for the animated Japanese TV series Gatchaman. In 2017, the independent Warrior Records re-released All Things in Time. ~ Thom Jurek