The Fingerless Fiddler
Old Time Fiddle Music

Roy and Donna Thackerson

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Grand Ole Opry WSM 650

Grand Ole Opry introduction by Roy Acuff. Roy plays I Don't Love Nobody, Orange Blossom Special, Sally Goodin' and Boil the Cabbage Down with Charlie Collins and his brother Bert.

The Story of Roy Thackerson-The Fingerless Fiddler, Part 1

David Gibson, spent hours on this project, a masterpiece that captures Roy's history in music.

In David's own words, " A few years ago, I met Roy Thackerson. Roy is one of those unique individuals that you meet and cannot forget. Roy possesses a love for music and an indomitable spirit. He is also a great entertainer. But mostly, Roy is a Texan and a good friend to those around him. I hope this video shows Roy's character and the fact that he is character. There are not many like Roy."

Orange Blossom Special "Fingerless Fiddler Style"

Live @ Wilson County Fair Lebanon, Tn. 2008 with Melvin Sloan and Friends. Roy played the first Wilson County fair in 1975 and many times in between during the next 35 years. 

"Fingerless Fiddler" Bio

Roy Thackerson

  • Roy once traveled to Weiser, Idaho for the National Fiddling Contest in the early '70's. Contestants drew numbers and performed for 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 judged on talent and musical ability. 
  • Roy entered the contest for personal reasons. He had the notion that audiences were looking at his fingeres, or lack thereof, instead of his talent and musical ability. There was 119 entries. Only the top 25 fiddlers received awards and prize money. Roy placed 33rd. Not bad for a small town TEXAS boy! 
  • Roy is a native Texas son born in Haskell County in 1938. At a young age the family moved to Cisco, Texas.
  • The Thackerson family; 7 boys and a girl, sang and played musical instruments. Roy's dad played fiddle and guitar and sang. Roy's only sister sang while 6 older brothers picked guitar and/or sang. Roy was the next to the youngest. His siblings ranged from 5 to 14 years older than he. 
  • Music was a pastime for the Thackerson family; long before TV, telephone and computers, the family played music for entertainment. Family holidays always found the Thackerson clan sitting around pickin' and grinnin'. 
  • Roy began learning to play the guitar  at the age of 5 and was beginning to join in with the rest of the Thackerson family when the tragic accident happened. 

The "Gut Strap"

"A Very Unique Device for a Very Unique Fiddler"

 At the age of 6, like all young boys, curiosity got the best of him and one afternoon when Roy found what he thought was a 'firecracker.'

Putting a match to that dynamite cap changed Roy's life that would challenge the young boy each and every day of his life. Even the smallest tasks became major obstacles. 

Not only did Roy lose the fingers on his left hand but also lost the sight in his left eye.

As a result of this childhood accident, Roy is unable to hold and chord any stringed instrument in the usual fashion.

With a great determination, dedication and the love of music, Roy overcame what some would call a handicap. 

By the time Roy was 12 years old he was playing lead guitar for local bands. He told his family and friends, "someday I'm going to play on the Grand Ole Opry." 

 Not only is Roy and astonishing fiddler but an amazing guitarist.

At the age of 25, Roy decided he wanted to play the fiddle and old time fiddle music. He used that same determination to play the dobro, mandolin and some piano.

With the help of family, B.T. Thackerson and a few good friends, Sam Herring and James Rushing, Roy developed a device he calls the "Gut Strap."

Using a belt, Roy fastens the "Gut Strap: around his waist. The cushioned arm holds the fiddle in place as he plays or frets over the top. A large rubber band is fastened over the neck of the fiddle to keep it from 'floating' when pressure is applied as he frets the fiddle. 


"Peace comes not from the absence of conflict but the ability to deal with it." 

A Lifetime of MUSIC

  • Performed on Grand Ole Opry 1978-1992 as 'special guest' of the late Roy Acuff
  • Performed for Ralph Sloan and The Tennessee Travelers Square Dancers on Grand Ole Opry
  • Featured on NBC Television show, That's Incredible,1983
  • Performed on Ralph Emory Early Morning Show Nashville, Tn.
  • Performed on Boxcar Willie Show, Branson, Missouri
  • Featured in Texas Highways Magazine, 2004
  • Featured LIVE on Texas Radio in the Netherlands, 2005
  • Fiddler Judge for Grand Masters National Fiddle Contest, Nashville, Tn. 1979-1991
  • Special Entertainer for Grand Masters National Fiddle Contest-Nashville, Tn. 2006
  • Performed at Wilson County Fair, Lebanon, Tn. 1975, 2000-2008 and 2016 for Special Friend, Melvin Sloan with the Grand Ole Opry Melvin Sloan Dancers  
  • Featured in Texas CO-OP Power Magazine 2015 
  • Special Entertainer at International Peace Garden, Michif-Fest, Dunseith, ND August 2014
  • Recorded 4 CD's

Roy equipped 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, 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. 

All Star Jam Saturday Night-Roy Thackerson

  • Bluegrass on the Plains- Auburn, Alabama 2013
  • The highlight of Roy's life was to stand next to his FAVORITE LADY BLUEGRASS ENTERTAINER-Rhonda Vincent
  • Thanks to the folks @ BOTP for this opportunity 
  • Such talent on that stage that I was honored to be a part of  if but for a brief shining moment. 

Grand Old Opry With Roy Acuff

Grand Old Opry (2 Shows) introduced by Roy Acuff, the King of County Music.  Roy plays Cotton Patch Rag, Orange Blossom Special, Sally Goodin', repeat Orange Blossom Special with ovation. Roy was accompanied by Charlie Collins and his brother Bert. 

Guitar Boogie

Roy's first instrument was the guitar at the age of 5. By the time he was 12, Roy was playing lead guitar with adults.  It has been told when the little 12 year old boy played the Guitar Boogie, "he brought the house down."

Thank You for Visiting The Fingerless Fiddler Website

I have 4 CD's available; Volume ONE  with some old time favorites: Rangtime Annie, Gold & Silver Waltz, Sally Goodin', Joe Turner Blues, and more, Volume TWO-Roy Thackerson plays Fiddle & Guitar: Cotton Patch Rag, Maiden's Prayer, Kentucky Waltz, Guitar Boogie, Sugar Foot Rag, Orange Blossom Special and more, Volume THREE, with more old times tunes such as Bill Cheatum, Wesphalia Waltz, Billy in the Low Ground, Lost Indian, I Don't Love Nobody, Orange Blossom Special and more and Pickin' North of the Red River-Old Lone Star Rag, Golden Slippers, Listen to the Mockingbird, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, I Saw the Light, Jerusalem Ridge, Old Lone Star Rag, Soppin' the Gravy, Litty Dale and more. 

You can purchase any of the above CD's listed above for $12.50 each, plus postage OR if you purchase all 4 CD's postage/shipping is FREE.

 Contact us by phone or email and place your order.  We like the personal touch.

Donna & I hope you enjoyed the site. There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us. We hope you take a moment to drop us a line and give us feedback on the new website. 

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1st Saturday of the month-Scranton Musical 

3rd Friday of the month-Olden Musical

The Fingerless Fiddler

2038 East Loop 254 or PO Box 275 Ranger, Texas 76470

(254) 631-8599 OR (254) 631-8912