- Roy Huskey, Jr.
Roy M. Huskey, Jr. (
December 17, 1956- September 6, 1997) was a prominent American upright bassplayer in country musicfrom Nashville, Tennessee. Huskey performed alongside musicians such as Chet Atkins, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, George Jones, Steve Earleand many others. His father, Roy M. "Junior" Huskey was also a notable bass player.
Huskey began his career at the age of 16 backing up
Del Woodon the " Grand Ole Opry" in 1971.Ledgin, Stephanie P. "Last Chorus: Roy Huskey Jr. 1956-1997" " Sing Out!", 42:3 (Winter 1997), p.28-29] His first job as a touring musician was with Roy Acuffas one of his Smoky Mountain Boys. Eventually his work spanned a range of music styles including bluegrass, country, folk, Cajun and folk-rock.
Huskey received a Grammy with
Emmylou Harrisand the Nash Ramblers for their 1992 live album " At the Ryman". He was also honored with a number of "Bass Player of the Year" awards from organizations such as the IBMA, SPBGMA, and ACM.
Huskey frequently performed dressed simply in a plaid shirt while smoking a
cigar(often King Edward brand). He was often noted for his "rare musical intuitiveness" and late in life spoke of his ability to hear music in colors (see synesthesia).
Huskey died of cancer at Columbia Centennial Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee on
September 6, 1997. He was 40 years at the time of his death. Country musician Marty Stuarttold " The Tennessean" "Roy Huskey was a pure original state of the art, bona fide, textbook example of a bass-playing genius, truly irreplaceable." [http://www.gibson.com/whatsnew/pressrelease/1997/sep08a.html "Press Release: Roy Huskey Jr., Acoustic Bass Ace, Dies of Cancer"] , Gibson.com, September 8, 1997]
Acoustic musician and friend
John Hartfordsaid, "In as much as the bass is the heartbeat of country music, and in as much as he was country music's most important bass player, I would say country music has just had a major heart attack." Sam Bushrecorded a tribute, "Song for Roy", with help from Jon Randall, Emmylou Harris, and Byron House. The tribute appears on Bush's 1998 album, " Howlin' at the Moon".
Roy Huskey Jr. left behind a wife, Lisa Huskey, and sons,Taylor Huskey and JT Huskey, who performs in a band called The Howling Brothers.
In 2006, the
Country Music Hall of Fameran an exhibit called "Big Bass Men" in tribute to Junior Huskey and Roy Huskey, Jr. The display featured an upright bass—made in Czeckoslovakiain the 1880s—that both father and son had used on countless recordings. [http://www.countrymusichalloffame.com/site/exhibits-detail.aspx?cid=229 Archive Spotlight Series] from the Country Music Hall of Fameweb site] Another notable instrument Huskey inherited from his father was a Gibson 1920 Style-J mando bass. The elder Huskey (confusingly nicknamed "Junior") owned two of the Style-J instruments and had given one to Roy Acuff. The other remained in the Roy Huskey, Jr. estate following his death and was on loan for a time to bass player Dave Pomeroy. [Pomeroy, Dave, [http://www.bassplayer.com/article/1920-gibson-style/apr-07/27040 "1920 Gibson Style J Mando Bass"] , "Bass Player" (online edition), April, 2007]
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