Roy Thackerson, "Fingerless Fiddler"
March 16, 2018: Thackerson Family Musical Influence The Thackerson family; 7 boys and 1 girl, sang and played musical instruments. Roy's father played fiddle and guitar and his mother played guitar and sang. Roy's only sister sang while 6 other brothers picked guitar and sang. Roy was next to the youngest and his siblings ranged from 5 to 19 years older than he. Music was a pastime for the Thackerson family long before TV and computers. The family played music for entertainment, and on holidays they were always found sitting around pickin' and grinning'. Childhood Accident Roy started playing the guitar at the age of 5 and was actually learning chords. At the age of 6, like all young boys, curiosity got the best of him one afternoon when Roy found what he thought was a firecracker. Putting a match to a dynamite cap, changed Roy's life in a way that would challenge him each and every day for the rest of his life. The smallest tasks became major obstacles. Not only did Roy lose the fingers on his left hand, but he also lost the sight in his left eye. As a result, Roy is unable to hold and chord any stringed instrument in the usual fashion. From Guitar to Fiddler With a great determination, dedication, and the love of music, Roy overcame what some would call a handicap. At the age of 26, Roy decided he wanted to play the fiddle. He used that same determination to play Dobro, mandolin, and some piano. A Very Unique Device for a Very Unique Fiddler With the help of family and a few good friends, they created Roy's design. Using a belt, Roy fastens the "Gut Strap" around his waist. The cushioned arm holds the fiddle in place as he plays/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. "Someday I'm going to play on the Grand Ole' Opry." As a young teenager, Roy once told his friends and family, "One day I'm going to play on the Grand Ole' Opry." You can only imagine the kind of response he received with that statement. Roy realized his dream of playing on the Grand Ole' Opry. He was Roy Acuff's guest on the show several times a year from 1978 to 1992. Search Roy Thackerson on Google for several websites that have much more information and several videos about this entertainer.