RIP Tom Roady 1948-2011

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Tom's website TomRoady.com is back online after the outpouring of love and support from his many friends and fans briefly crashed the server. This page is my small contribution to remembering a great friend and a great musician.

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In Memoriam:

Please enjoy the videos, music and photos of Tom Roady I have posted below, and please add your own words in memory and celebration of Tom's amazing life and work in the Guestbook at the bottom of the page.

HelloAndrew.com is today dedicated to the memory of one of my dearest friends and musical collaborators, Thomas Wesley Roady, the primary percussionist for my All Star Superband, house percussionist for Muscle Shoals studios in the seventies, long time touring and recording percussionist for Aretha Franklin, Ricky Skaggs, John Dever, James Taylor, Kenny Chesney, Art Garfunkel, and many many more.  

He was well known and beloved by thousands as not only one of the most accomplished session playing and touring percussionsts in the  world, but one of the sweetest, most sincere and loving friends that anyone could ever hope to know.   He opened his heart to each of the dozens of songs he recorded with me, and to me personally, crossing the country to visit and perform with me on my birthday just for the fun and love of it, welcoming me and my recording sessions with the Memphis Horns into his warm and peaceful home, including opening his door with a warm welcome at unreasonable hours of the night.

Tom had recently been diagnosed with a serious case of stomach cancer, and he had told me in a long and optimistic letter that he did not want to fight it with heavy medical interventions.   Well, as usual Tom found his own happy way to beat the odds, to beat the cancer, dying of a heart attack  a few nights ago in his sleep, doing the gig he loved most in the world, touring as he had for many many years with the annual Skaggs Family Christmas shows.  He told me many times that this was his favorite tour, one he looked forward to with great joy each year.  He was recently and very happily married, very much in love and very happy. He made each of us part of his musical family and his last days were about as perfect as days can be.

Tom filled the lives of all he met with laughter, love and some of the most heartfelt and masterful music ever made.  He worked on each song until he felt he had added every thing the song could need, no matter how much time or work it took, and I never once felt any reason to ask him for a retake or a revision because his parts were perfect literally every time.
    - Andrew Jon Thomson   11-30-11


RIP Tom Roady 1948 - 2011

The music in this memorial player includes a late night jam session with Tom on samples and hand precussion, Andrew on guitar and Ian Berzon on Harmonica, as well as the Superband theme song for which he created a wonderful percussion mix that I then composed the song on top of.   All the players used his part as a guide and he was effusively excited about the results.   This was the only time in his long and storied career that an artist had him lay down his part before anyone else did, and he was very proud of the work.   As are we all.  I have included his precussion mix as a separate track so you can hear how much his music influenced the sound of the many amazing and legendary recordings he was a part of.
Cut Out My Brain is a true rarity:  Tom Roady plays the drumset!  Actually two tracks of drumkit  and some percussion at the same time in this insane comical political satire with an intoxicated twist.


We will always love you Tom!

Songs and Jam Sessions featuring Tom Roady

Photos of Tom Roady

Please add your words in memory of Tom

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  • Walfredo

    Walfredo Reyes jr.

    I first met Tom when i worked with Paul Anka in 1980, Tom's smile always reassured me it all was ok.My family and I got close with Tom, we shared many gigs, jams, dinners, NAMM Shows, emails, PASIC Shows and the memories are just awesome!!! An amazing percussionist and a amazing human being!! He will live in our hearts forever. Rest in Peace my friend.

    I first met Tom when i worked with Paul Anka in 1980, Tom's smile always reassured me it all was ok.My family and I got close with Tom, we shared many gigs, jams, dinners, NAMM Shows, emails, PASIC Shows and the memories are just awesome!!! An amazing percussionist and a amazing human being!! He will live in our hearts forever.
    Rest in Peace my friend.

  • Ian Berzon

    Ian Berzon Berkeley, CA

    As Andrew's co-producer on the Superband project, it was my good fortune to spend time with Tom both in Nashville and California. Tom was a faithful, early supporter of our project, and we were thrilled to have a performer of his caliber. He was a master of textures, and created worlds with his choice of instrumentation. Personally, he was a pleasure, and I only wish that I had had the chance to know him better. R.I.P. Tom

    As Andrew's co-producer on the Superband project, it was my good fortune to spend time with Tom both in Nashville and California. Tom was a faithful, early supporter of our project, and we were thrilled to have a performer of his caliber. He was a master of textures, and created worlds with his choice of instrumentation. Personally, he was a pleasure, and I only wish that I had had the chance to know him better.

    R.I.P. Tom

  • Ed Mann

    Ed Mann Prairies north of Montana

    My Dear Friend Tom, our paths crossed only a few times but each time, you always reminded me that somehow we already knew each other for a long time, and so that is how it was! Thank you for your warm-hearted way with all of us who are lucky enough to know you, we shall meet again!

    My Dear Friend Tom, our paths crossed only a few times but each time, you always reminded me that somehow we already knew each other for a long time, and so that is how it was! Thank you for your warm-hearted way with all of us who are lucky enough to know you, we shall meet again!

  • Andrew

    Andrew California

    Farewell Tom, you will always be in our hearts and in our ears!:love:

    Farewell Tom, you will always be in our hearts and in our ears!love

 Tom is survived by his loving wife, Melanie, stepson Kenneth Johnson Jr. (Michelle), three Granddaughters, and stepson William (Jessica), and many friends who loved him and will miss him dearly.

Services will be held Sunday, December 4, at 3:00PM at Highland Park Church, 5710 Knob Road, Nashville TN. Visitation will be held from 1:30-3PM, with service to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to be made in care of the Tom Roady Memorial Fund, Community Bank, P.O. Box 340, Kingston Springs, TN, 37082.

For further information, contact Jason Mosier at Cremation and Funeral Services of Tennessee, 615-477-9359 or http://www.cfstn.com/.


The following videos feature Tom Roady's words and especially his wonderful music, all music videos here feature Tom on percussion

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