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Roy’s first major hit single, “Tips of My Fingers,” peaked at No. 10 in 1963. He was slightly flabbergasted when the teen-oriented musical TV series American Bandstand booked him to perform the tune.
“The oldest person around me is 12,” Roy laughs. “[Show host] Dick Clark gave me a real nice buildup, and all the kids were very polite. I was scared to death that they were going to stare at me, like ‘What are you up to, Gramps?’ “
Roy is one of the few stars around today who can say that he played a show with the legendary Hank Williams. Roy was just a teenager at the time, but the memory still lingers.
“I did a show with Hank in 1948 in Baltimore. I was based in the Washington, D.C., area,” recalls Roy, a native of Meherrin, Va. “We opened the show with a square dance band and Hank was the big star. Cowboy Copas was also on the bill. Hank just stood there and sang, but he had a charisma about him. He just had this power. He walked by in front of me and he looked at me with those piercing eyes—it was a little intimidating.”