Music was in Roger’s blood from the very beginning. His father, David, was not only a good singer, he was a very capable piano player, fiddler, and played the oboe well. Whether by nature or nurture, the hook was in.
In spring of 1963 Roger Silverberg got his first guitar, a Kay archtop bought for him by his dad for $18 from a Philadelphia pawn shop. Armed with a printed chord chart and a pitch pipe for a tuner, and no small measure of desire and persistence, Roger’s music career officially was launched. Less than 6 months later Roger gave his first public performance. Then the British Invasion happened and changed everything practically overnight. Seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan (and George Harrison in particular), and catching his first real pop concert soon after—Herman’s Hermits were headliners at Steel Pier in Atlantic City—inspired Roger to “go electric”. Joining up with several other neighborhood music geeks he knew from the neighborhood, he formed his first band. While that particular group, like most of the bands he played with, did not stay together long, the dream of a music career had been firmly implanted.
By 1970, after writing “a whole bunch” of songs that never saw the light of day, he wrote one called “Gone Away”. So confident was Roger that "Gone Away" was leaps beyond anything he’d yet completed, he sketched out a picture of a guitar with a green Flair pen on the handwritten lyric sheet, signed his name to it, and tagged it with the title “songwriter”. He still has that piece of yellow lined legal paper. “Gone Away” was the first original tune he ever played out in public and it was very well received. It took a while for Roger to come up with another song he thought was equal to or better than “Gone Away”. However, by the later ’70s he had several dozen presentable original tunes instead of just the handful he had even five years earlier.
A relocation from Philadelphia to New York City in early 1982 gave Roger a big incentive to up his game. He rapidly wrote a whole new crop of songs, some of which he still performs today. The music scene centered in Greenwich Village around MacDougal Street and Bleeker Street, and Roger, who now had several solid sets of originals, played regularly. He became involved with the Fast Folk Musical Magazine where he lent his graphic arts talents (graphic design was Roger’s day job) to doing record album jacket and insert design. He also did a fair share of “stuffing and mailing”. The upside was that he got to rub elbows and share pot luck meals with quite a few artists with names music lovers would certainly recognize.
A move from the city in 1987 to Huntington, Long Island, while conducive to starting a family, was the start of a hiatus from public performance that lasted nearly 12 years. In 1998, Roger ventured out to debut two brand new tunes on piano at an open mic hosted by the Folk Music Society of Huntington. Roger concedes that while he still tried to write music whenever inspiration struck, getting those first two “good” new songs was a struggle. But the spigot had finally opened up and the music’s been flowing out ever since.
Roger released Sketches and Footprints in 2005. Sketches was Roger’s first all-originals album and his first professional studio recording since before leaving Philadelphia nearly 24 years earlier. Sketches and Footprints was well regarded by the local music press, picked up for airplay by several public/college radio stations, and also by internet radio podcasters such as RadioCrystalBlue.
In 2010 Roger released Major Seventh Heaven. Much more blue-eyed soul and keyboard centered than was the case with Sketches, Major Seventh Heaven was a deliberate nod to his formative years in Philadelphia.
Roger’s latest album, The Old Dog, was released in November 2015. Recorded and co-produced by Jim Salamone in Philadelphia at Cambridge Sound Studios, The Old Dog continues in the direction established with Major Seventh Heaven but with a noticeably richer texture. There were two singles released in 2018 and Roger expects to release a similar number of tunes digitally in 2019.
Besides his own music projects, Roger turns up from time to time in "labor of love" projects such as recent salutes to The Rascals, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, the Moody Blues and Traffic, usually for the benefit of causes such as children’s cancer research and aid to military veterans.
Roger lives in Huntington, Long Island, NY with his wife, two cats, and a houseful of instruments.