Roy Nichols - No Stranger To A Tele - Ask Zac 72

April 17, 2020

With the blessing of Redd Volkaert, who has an album by the same name, this Roy Nichols episode is titled "No Stranger To A Tele." Roy of course was the guitarist in Merle Haggard's band, The Strangers,  from 1965-1987, but there is so much more to his story than just his time with Merle. Today we look at his story that takes flight during the depression, going through his time with The Maddox Brothers and Rose, Lefty Frizzell, Wynn Stewart, Johnny Cash, and his seminal work with the Hag. Of course, we take a look at his gear, and specifically what he used on the Merle live records that are to many the "Nichols Bible" of licks and tone.

Here is the video, plus some photos of him from throughout his career. Special thanks to Terry Downs for the use of the shots from the Philadelphia concert.

Roy on Gibson archtop (L5?) with the Maddox Brothers and Rose.

Roy with guitar standing next to Lefty Frizzell

Roy with beard and 50s Stratocaster

Cousin Herb Henson, 2nd from left, followed by Bonnie Owens, then Roy.

With Wynn Stewart. Roy in back with what looks like the Mosrite double-neck with his name inlaid in the necks.

Another shot of the double neck that he would eventually leave behind because of its weight.

With Wynn Stewart

Roy with maple-cap Tele with spaghetti logo. Probably a 1965 model.

Video still of Roy and the maple-cap Telecaster

In studio with mid-to-late 50s Telecaster with added black pickguard

Bakersfield music scene daddy, Tommy Collins with Roy and Norm Hamlet. This, and the other photos below were taken during the concert that became The Fightin' Side Of Me live album. Courtesy Terry Downs

close-up. Notice logo position

Steel saddles and not a top-loader. Most likely a 57 or 58 Telecaster with a changed pick guard.

In the studio during the Best Damn Fiddle Player sessions. L-R Biff Adams, Johnny Gimble, Tiny Moore, Dennis Hromek, and Roy on most likely the same Tele from the Philly show.

Roy's grave that includes a line from Johnny Cash's "Tennessee flat top box," that Roy played on

Roy Nichols lesson by Terry Downs LINK