Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Roy Roberts (born February 22, 1943) is an American blues artist, music producer, and singer-songwriter. Roy Roberts grew up in a small town in Livingston, Tennessee, listening to blues and R&B on radio stations. At the age of 14 Roy worked on a nearby farm to earn the money for his first guitar, a mail order Sears Silvertone.
Roy Roberts left farm-life at age 18 to live with an uncle in Greensboro, North Carolina. Roy was inspired to become a professional musician after he went to a nightclub where Jerry Butler was performing. Roy worked hard honing his guitar skills while playing in bands until he landed a job with local Greensboro hero, Guitar Kimbers’ Untouchables. Before long, Roy began backing up major artists who came through town.
One major artist, Solomon Burke, took Roy under his wing after letting him sit in as a bass player during a local gig. Roy soon became the guitarist behind the soul legend on tour. Roberts subsequently picked up touring gigs with Eddie Floyd, “Little” Stevie Wonder, Dee Clark and Otis Redding, while fronting his own band, The Roy Roberts Experience, on the regional club scene and Southeastern beach town circuit.
Roy began to cut records in the mid-sixties, staying mostly behind the scenes as a session man with Eddie Floyd, Dee Clark, Stevie Wonder, William Bell, Solomon Burke, and Otis Redding. The tragic death of Otis Redding inspired Roberts to step up to the microphone with a song dedicated to the late crooner. The record was released on Nina Simone’s NinaAndy label. Roy followed this successful effort with a string of 45’s that carried him well into the seventies. During the disco years, Roy turned his talents to country music, touring with O.B. McClinton and releasing a number of country records. After a brief hiatus from the music scene, Roy built a recording studio in Virginia in 1989, where he produced records by regional gospel artists and cut a gospel record of his own.
In the early 1990s, Roy Roberts returned to Greensboro, NC and built Rock House Records recording studio. Besides recording his own material on Rock House, Roberts has produced albums for Priscilla Price, Lou Pride, Chick Willis, Skeeter Brandon, Floyd Miles, Eddie Floyd and many more. Roy has won numerous awards for his record production and his own music.