Roy Drusky

From the time he was 5 years old, Roy Drusky dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player. "I ate, slept and breathed baseball," he admits. But baseball was not to be a part of his professional life. The switch did not occur because of lack of talent -- he was offered a tryout with the Cleveland Indians -- but because music became the dominating factor in Roy's life.

If anyone had asked Roy's mother about her son's ambition when he was still a youngster, chances are she would never have answered "music." Mrs. Drusky was a church pianist for twenty years and, of course, it was a natural thing for her to want Roy to obtain some musical training. However, baseball practice and piano lessons were not compatible, and the result was that piano never held any appeal for him. Singing was a different matter. The Young People's Choir at Moreland Baptist Church offered Roy the opportunity to express his musical ability and yet allowed plenty of time for athletics. No one realized, then, including Roy, that his church singing would be laying the foundation for a career later in life.

Music took over Roy's life once he began performing regularly on WEAS radio in Decatur, Ga. There was no doubt in Roy's mind but what music should be his occupation. He was offered and accepted a job announcing on WEAS in addition to performing. Soon he added two weekly television shows in Atlanta to his activities and many "live" shows all around that section of the country. He was contacted by radio station KEVE in Minneapolis with an offer to work at the station and to perform regularly at one of the top clubs in the country. Though he regretted having to leave his hometown, Roy felt the offer was too good to refuse and was soon on his way to the far north. "My time in Minneapolis proved to be both pleasant and invaluable," says Roy. "I didn't realize what devoted country fans those people were in the upper Midwest. I got a boost to my career and my ego during my 18-month stay."

Songwriting, as well as singing, was the eventual cause that brought Roy to Nashville. While working in Minnesota, he had made several trips to Music City to record. Finally, he got the break he needed with "Alone With You," which jumped into hit territory. Faron Young was also having good luck with the song at the same time. Realizing that he must take advantage of the success generated by his song, Roy moved to Nashville where he could have the opportunity of employing his talents. After a relatively brief period of time, the Grand Ole Opry beckoned him on June 13, 1958, and Roy's name went on the roster of the world's most renowned country music show.

The 1960s were good to Roy Drusky. In 1965, he teamed up with Priscilla Mitchell to record the duet "Yes, Mr. Peters" which became his first No. 1 hit. He enjoyed numerous Top 10 hits on his own, including "I'd Rather Loan You Out," "I Went Out of My Way," "Three Hearts in a Tangle," "Second Hand Rose," "Peel Me a Nanner," "(From Now On All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers," "Such a Fool," "All My Hard Times" and "White Lightning Express."

"White Lightning Express" was from the movie by the same name. Roy sang the title song and appeared in that film as well as in two other country and western films, Forty Acre Feud and The Golden Guitar. When he wasn't in the movies or singing in person and on television, Roy was producing other artists and directing the Nashville office of SESAC, a music licensing firm he helped establish.

Today, Roy's focus is on recording country/southern gospel albums. He has five to his credit on the Chapel/Bridge label; his current one is This Life of Mine. And he is immensely popular performing gospel concerts nationwide with Evangelist Kenneth Cox.