As of Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Roy Talley, of Wasco, Ore., says he is approaching a milestone age of 70, but he still remembers all those years ago when he started playing music on the trombone, guitar and violin in early high school. “My mom was a well-known portrait artist, and I know she painted one of me playing the guitar,” Talley said recently. “A lot of her pieces went to my brother, and that one may still be around,” Talley said. Talley said that his first song was “Looking for Love,” which he wrote at the age of 17.
Fast-forwarding to the present day, Talley claims to have at least 19 YouTube videos of original songs, as well as an Internet Radio Airplay station, that features his music and music he grew up appreciating and emulating. “One of my guitars was a 1963 Fender Strat, and that was the kind of guitar Jimi Hendrix had. Of course I listened to The Beatles, too,” Talley said. He said that he had over 100 fans like his cover of “I Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
Talley is currently promoting two recent songs, “Infatuation,” and “Save the Animals,” on his media platforms, and at the independent artist website CD Baby, where a lot of his other songs can be previewed. “Save the Animals” reflects Talley’s environmental views of how we can take better care of where we live. “I’m constantly feeding the birds, and at last count I take care of nine outdoor cats,” Talley said. “Animals are just like people,” Talley said.
Over the years, Talley has been in various rock and country bands in Oregon and Idaho, where he lived on his ranch. “I was a lead guitar player for the band ‘Unaffected,’ a rock band that played John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young. I had to make up a lot of leads for a lot of those Dylan songs, especially the early ones, because they were folk songs, and we needed to bring them into the rock and roll genre.” He also played in a group called the Bluestone Rangers, which was based in Salem, and featured his friend Lynn Masterson, a drummer that still works with him today. In past years, Talley has performed at the Sunshine Mill, and is friends with local bar-bands that play in Maupin.
In Talley’s endeavor to promote his music, he said the most important thing is to take opportunities when you can. “Even though I’m approaching 70, I would still like to work with a band.” He says he hopes to find a spot to play his well-worn Yamaha acoustic guitar, which is featured on a lot of his home recordings.
Talley said that not all of his dealings with the business side of music industry has been a favorable experience, but as he reflected on his ranching life, his time in the military, and taking care of his father in his later years, Roy Earl Talley (who was once the Mayor of Wasco), music has stayed with him all this time.
“Music is rewarding, and you get better as you go,” Talley said.