Melvin Royce Franklin was born March 28, 1930 at Dosier in West Texas. He was the second child of Major Lee and Inez Franklin. Being a son of one of the country's legendary fiddlers, he was introduced to fiddle music and guitar playing early in life. At about six or seven years of age, his father gave him a small standard guitar (4 string) that had been redesigned in an attempt to make it into a tenor guitar. Then when he was nine, his father gave him an old Gibson guitar that he played until 1965. He did not take lessons, but watched other players and learned to play the many different chords on his own. During high school days he played two live radio shows per day with his cousin, Louis Franklin, who is widely known today as one of Texas's leading fiddle players. They were part of a group known as the D.G. Boys who did live shows on KRRV in Sherman. Then the same group would do another show on the same day, known as Eddie Miller and the Oklahomans. On these shows, Royce played the stand up bass as well as the guitar.
Royce entered the U.S. Air Force in early 1948 and on May 1, of that year he married Loyce Stalcup of Denison. They have four children, two girls, Caryn Martin of Groves, TX. and Bettye Franklin of Henrietta, TX. Two sons, David of Venus, TX. andPaul of Burleson, TX. They have 8 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
On leaving the Air Force, Royce worked for 11 years for Convair in FT. Worth. In 1963 he took a job as a Supervisor with Conso Tool in Dallas and stayed there 20 years. In 1983 he began work in Dallas as a supervisor with Tri -City Tool and retired from there in 1995.
Throughout his life, Royce has enjoyed playing and listening to the music of Texas. He is always in demand as an accompanist at contests, jam sessions and recording sessions. He has recorded with many of Texas's best fiddle players. He was one of the accompanist (along with his brother Ray) on Louis and Larry Franklin's Keepsake Album and Matt and Danita Hartz with The Franklin's album. Royce has won many accompanist contests and in 1988 he won the Favorite Accompanist Award of the Texas Old Time Fiddlers Association. This award, he says he is the proudest of because he was selected by vote, by the general membership of The Texas Old Time Fiddlers Association.
Royce and Loyce live at their very comfortable home in Roanoke, TX. The house sits on three wooded acres, just back far enough back not to disturb anyone if a jam session gets into full swing.