Tom Roady

Tom Roady, born Thomas W. Roady on April 17, 1949 in Alton, Illinois, was a world renowned percussionist and musical fixture of the Nashville music scene.

Growing up in the St.Louis area, started his professional career performing and touring with Phil Driscoll (1972-73). Through his connection with Driscoll, Tom met Charlie Chalmers, an original member of the Memphis Horns, which led to recording sessions in Memphis, TN. Chalmers suggested that Tom make a move to Muscle Shoals to get more studio work, which is exactly what he did — working at the Fame recording studios with such artists as Mac Davis, Tom Jones, Candi Staton, and Paul Anka. Befriended by Muscle Shoals Sound, Roady was able to record with a vast array of artists — from Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel to Mavis and Pops Staples to The Sanford Townsend Band. Tom also had the pleasure of working with Jerry Wexler on many different artist projects through the years.

In 1978 Tom moved to Los Angeles while working on the road with Paul Anka. While living in L.A. he was in Don Randi and Quest, the house band at the Baked Potato in North Hollywood, which he considered to be one of the most fun gigs he had ever done. Tom also worked with The Fifth Dimension for close to a year while living in Los Angeles. Having worked primarily as a studio percussionist for almost 40 years, Tom spent his last three decades residing in Nashville, TN.

Tom has toured with the likes of James Taylor, John Denver Ricky Skaggs, The Fifth Dimension and Paul Anka, played on numerous R&B, Folk, Bluegrass, Jazz, Rock, and Country multi-platinum recordings, and has been nominated and won Grammy Awards, CMA Awards, and ACM Awards.

Roady worked with such R&B artists as Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Mavis Staples,Pop Staples, Clarence Carter, Millie Jackson, Bobby Womack, Etta James, Delbert McClinton, Johnny Taylor, Don Covay, and Shemekia Copeland,  Rock and Pop acts such as Michael McDonald, Andy Gibb, The Sanford /Townsend Band, Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Pure Prairie League, Dr. Hook, Roy Orbison, Emmylou  Harris, Bob Seger, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Kim Carnes, The Freddy Jones Band, Mac McAnally, Joan Baez, The Iguanas, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steve Forbert, Paul Anka, Tom Jones, and Donovan, Bluegrass and Americana artists like Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, New Grass Revival, The Grascals, Rhonda Vincent, Maura O’Conell, Sally Fingerett, Kathy Mattea, Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, Robert Lee Castleman, Ronnie Bowman, Mark Elliot, Kim McKlean, and Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, Country acts such as The Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill,  Kenny Chesney, Alabama, Brooks and Dunn,Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Ledoux, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sara Evans, Tom T. Hall, Randy Travis,Trick Pony, Reba McEntire, Pam Tillis, Tanya Tucker, Hank Williams Jr., Dan SealsSuzy Bogguss, K.T.Oslin, Kenny Rogers,  Lee Ann Womack, Chely Wright, Clay Walker,  T.Graham Brown, Mark Chestnut, Randy Scruggs, Tracy Byrd, Bryan White, Steve Wariner ,Jo Dee Messina, Lonestar, Ricochet and Lee Roy Parnell, and many Christian/Gospel artists such as Phil Driscoll, The Issacs, Russ Taff, Mark Lowry, and his good friend Will McFarlane.

In December of 2006, Roady played shows in London with the David Gest’s All-Star Soul Spectacular starring Peabo Bryson, Deniece Williams, Dorothy Moore, Billy Paul, Russell Thompkins Jr. and the New Stylistics, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Candi Staton, Carl Carlton, William Bell, Freda Payne, and Bonnie Tyler.

Tom Roady - Zendrum: One Tribe

As an educator, Tom gave numerous percussion clinics and master classes as well as performing at several Percussive Arts Society conventions. He endorsed Toca Percussion, Paiste Cymbals and Effects, Regal Tip Sticks and Mallets, Evans Heads, DW Drums and Hardware, Shure Microphones, Zendrum, the Mandala Drum and EZDrummer.

In 1997, Tom released a CD, ZENDRUM: ONE TRIBE, which received critical review and praise from magazines like Modern  Drummer, Keyboard and Electronic Musician. Roady's music compositions have been played on the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Oxygen, The Playboy Channel, The Spice Channel, The Travel Channel , Braves Baseball, and International Cable broadcast.

Tom Roady died on November 28, 2011 while on tour with Ricky Skaggs. He had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer the month before he passed; he was 62.