Roy was born in 1900 in Reading, PA. In 1926 he appeared in one of the first sound films ever made by Warner Bros./Vitaphone. Roy invented the Vita-Uke marketed by the Harmony Company. He also put his name to several other uke, guitar, Hawaiian guitar, steel guitar, and banjo models made by Harmony, and made over 500 recordings for Edison, Victor, Columbia, Decca, Crown, RCA and others. He wrote instructional books for guitar, Hawaiian guitar, uke and banjo by the dozens; arranged countless tunes for the uke; and made the first multiple-soundtrack movie for Paramount Pictures.
Roy played at Franklin D. Roosevelt 's presidential inaugural ball in 1932; George VI's coronation review in 1939; and toured and played in Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Iceland, Greenland, Alaska, Canada, Puerto Rico, Korea & Hawaii.
Roy recorded hundreds of songs, on his own and with other groups. Many are on 78rpm records, and a good number can be found on LPs.