Roy once traveled to Weiser, Idaho for the National Fiddling Contest in the early
'70's. Contestants draw numbers and perform for the judges who are secluded in a room behind the stage. The judges are not
able to view the contestants as they perform. This prevents the judges from being influenced by showmanship, attire, etc.
Contestants are graded on talent and musical ability. Roy entered the contest for personal reasons. He had the notion that
audiences were looking at his fingers, or lack thereof, instead of his talent and musical ability. There were 119 entries.
Only the top 25 fiddlers received awards and prize money. Roy placed 33rd. Not bad for a small town TEXAS boy!
Roy has performed on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry numerous
times as a guest of the late Roy Acuff, the "King of Country Music," and as a guest of Charlie Walker. He has also
performed on the Ralph Emory Show. Roy played for Ralph Sloan and the The Tennessee Travelers and later for Melvin Sloan and
The Melvin Sloan Dancers, which were the colorfully dressed square dancers on the Grand Ole Opry. Roy was also priviledged
to perform with the late Box Car Willie on his show in Branson, Missouri and also featured on the television show, "That's
Incredible," during the 1980's.
was a judge at the Grand Masters Fiddling Contest in Nashville for 17 years. Roy states, "I have had the priviledge of
watching aspiring young musicians, such as Mark O'Conner, make their mark on the Bluegrass, Classical, and Country Music industry" While
performing as a special entertainer at the Grand Masters Fiddling Contest, a film crew from England recorded Roy's performance
and was later aired on British Network Television.
ealier, the blast from a dynamite cap destroyed the fingers on his left hand and the sight in his left eye. Roy never allowed
this tragedy to defeat him. Roy states, "I have an inner drive that gives me the challenge to be the best that I can
be. There have been several times in my life when I felt I could not continue with my music. but that inner drive always kicked
in and I realized that my love for music will always be with me." Roy learned to play the piano, mandolin, the lap steel
guitar, and the dobro. At the age of 25 Roy decided he could play the fiddle. That same determination Roy had used to master
other insturments worked once again as he taught himself to play the fiddle. As a result of his childhood injuries, Roy is
unable to hold and chord any stringed instrument in the usual fashion. With the help of family and a few 'good friends,' he
developed a device he calls his "gut strap" which serves to help support the fiddle as he plays. AMAZING comes to
mind when you SEE and HEAR his performance.
Roy equiped with a quick wit, grace and charm to supplement his musical abilities, is a musician's
musician, yet he is reluctant to indulge in self-promotion. After his childhood injuries, Roy told his family, "Someday
I will play on the Grand Old Opry." He is one of the lucky individuals who have their childhood dreams come true. Always
modest, Roy says about himself, "I'm a fair musician, but I am an entertainer at heart. I had to work twice as hard to
be half as good as other musicians." If you poll other observers, though, you will find that Roy Thackerson is a remarkable
person who brings SUNSHINE to the lives of those he encounters and always leaves audiences with a fond, lasting impression.
D. J. Driskill, mgr.