Merl Saunders (February 14, 1934 – October 24, 2008) was an American multi-genre musician who played piano and keyboards, favoring the Hammond B-3 console organ.
Born in San Mateo, California, Saunders attended Polytechnic High School in San Francisco. In his first band in high school was singer Johnny Mathis. He served in the Air Force from 1953 to 1957. He worked as musical director of the Billy Williams Revue and served in a similar capacity in Oscar Brown Jr.‘s off-Broadway show, Big Time Buck White.