For those who missed the obituary in teh Feb 2012 digitalDrummer, here's the gist of it....
Roady’s last gig
Tom Roady, digitalDrummer’s first profiled artist, passed away in late November, doing what he loved most – on tour with Ricky Skaggs and his family.
The percussionist died in his sleep on the Skaggs Family Christmas tour bus at Clemson University in South Carolina.
Skaggs was among the first to express his “deepest sympathy to the family at the passing of (a) dear friend and fellow musician”.
Roady was 62 and had been diagnosed with cancer a few weeks earlier, but refused to withdraw from the Skaggs tour.
He told his Facebook friends at the time: “I will be out on tour with (Ricky Skaggs) and the family including the Whites .... I know the power that this family has and they will take care of me out there as well as pray for me every day and night ..”
Roady rejected traditional treatment for his cancer in favour “a different course of treatment: one that has God first in the front of everything ... with prayer, scripture, meditation, etc.”.
He probably wrote his own eulogy on Facebook with the profound message: “The quality of the rest of my life trumps the length of my life”.
Friends say it was fitting that Roady ended his life doing what he loved most, with people who shared his passion for music.
Roady was a multi-award-winning artist whose performances grace over 1,000 records and CDs. He recorded for country acts such as Vince Gill, Brooks & Dunn, Trisha Yearwood, Kenny Rogers, Martina McBride and Randy Travis; R&B singers like Mavis Staples, Wilson Pickett, Millie Jackson, James Brown and Etta James; pop acts like Art Garfunkel, Andy Gibb, Michael McDonald and Donovan and rock acts like Bob Seger and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Roady toured with James Taylor, John Denver, Paul Anka and Ricky Skaggs and spent the last few years recording in his home studio and the studios in Nashville.
A master of all things percussive, Roady also eagerly embraced electronic instruments, and was one of the early adopters of the Zendrum.
He is fondly remembered by Zendrum creator David Haney as “a personal friend, a wise sage and a great musician”.
“I called him ‘The Mayor’ because he was a people person and knew everyone in the music business,” says Haney, who credits Roady with introducing many hand percussionists and drummers to the Zendrum.
“He was the first person to ever create an entire CD of Zendrum music back in the mid-‘90s,” Haney adds, stressing that Roady was “a determined innovator, never afraid to reach for something different”.