|Birth Name||Leroy Buchanan|
|Born||September 23, 1939 Ozark, Arkansas, US|
|Died||August 14, 1988 (aged 48) Fairfax, Virginia, US|
|Genres||Blues, blues rock, electric blues, rock and roll, rockabilly, country|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass, vocals|
|Associated acts||Robbie Robertson, Danny Gatton, Dale Hawkins, Danny Denver, The Snake stretchers, The British Walkers|
Leroy “Roy” Buchanan (September 23, 1939 – August 14, 1988) was an American guitarist and blues musician. A pioneer of the Telecaster sound, Buchanan worked as a sideman and as a solo artist, with two gold albums early in his career and two later solo albums that made it to the Billboard chart. He never achieved stardom, but he is still considered a highly influential guitar player. Guitar Player praised him as having one of the “50 Greatest Tones of All Time.” He appeared on the PBS music program Austin City Limits in 1977 (season 2).
Leroy Buchanan was born in Ozark, Arkansas, and was raised there and in Pixley, California, a farming area near Bakersfield. His father was a sharecropper in Arkansas and a farm laborer in California. Buchanan told interviewers that his father was also a Pentecostal preacher, a note repeated in Guitar Player magazine but disputed by his older brother J.D.
Buchanan told how his first musical memories were of racially-mixed revival meetings he attended with his mother, Minnie. “Gospel,” he recalled, “that’s how I first got into black music.” He, in fact, drew upon many disparate influences while learning to play the guitar (though he later claimed his aptitude derived from being “half-wolf”). He initially showed talent on steel guitar before switching to guitar in the early 50s, and started his professional career at age 15, in Johnny Otis’s rhythm and blues revue.
In 1958, Buchanan made his recording debut accompanying Dale Hawkins (Buchanan played the solo on “My Babe”) for Chicago’s Chess Records. Two years later, during a tour through Toronto, Buchanan left Dale Hawkins to play for his cousin Ronnie Hawkins and tutor Ronnie’s guitar player, Robbie Robertson. Buchanan plays bass on the Ronnie Hawkins single “Who Do You Love?”. Buchanan soon returned to the United States, and members of the Ronnie Hawkins’ group later gained fame as the roots-rock group The Band.