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An Audio Documentary by Amy Brown
 
 
   


The plight of the artist is a difficult one.
Making the decision to create art that will be commercially viable (i.e. put food on the table) is sometimes a necessity that causes even the greatest of talents to compromise their dreams. In other cases, these compromises can be a breeding ground for new and unexpected directions in one's artistic journey. Such is the case for Roy Lanham, a jazz aficionado and guitarist from the Forties who is best known for his work with Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.

Roy always considered himself a jazz player and is often compared stylistically to Django Reinhardt, but in order to sustain a living as a musician spent most of his life on tour with various bands playing pop standards and western style music reminiscent of Bob Wills' western swing. Western music at the time simply paid more and Lanham happily made the transition in style out of necessity. The end result was a wonderful hybrid of jazz and country that is as beautiful to listen to, as it is unique.

Roy saw his creative peak with his own band The Whipperwhills during the 1940s and unbelievably his work with this amazing band was never released until two years ago when the Bloodshot label made the recordings available on Hard Life Blues. Amazing Roy's talent has largely been forgotten and only a select few are familiar with his unparalleled artistry.

FREEwilliamsburg journalist, Amy Brown recently spoke with Roy's widow Marianne and his daughter Debbie. Listen to the exclusive radio documentary here and discover the music, life, and laughter of a forgotten legend.

Debbie Lanham-Wilson is Roy's youngest daughter. She currently lives in Tucson, Arizona. Debbie and her husband are working to chronicle all of Roy's work on the website www.roylanham.com. She lived with her family off and on until she was 30. In the summers she would go on the road with the Pioneers in the family's mobile home.

Marianne LeGlise Lanham is from New Jersey and met Roy when she was on the road as a pop singer. They married in 1941 and stayed together until his death in 1991 on Valentine's Day. She's is retired and living in Los Angeles and has appeared in various films including the Truman Show
.

Roy Lanham - An Audio Documentary

 
Click on a thumbnails above for Roy Lanham images in full size.
 
Related articles:
Review of Roy Lanham's Hard Life Blues
Real Audio stream of "Hard Life Blues"



























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[email protected] | April 2002 | Issue 25
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