Royce has played guitar since age nine. By the time Royce finished high school, he was certain that he wanted to pursue a career in music, but he did not have the means to go to music school. Fortunately, his uncle Carroll DeCamp, a renowned arranger/pianist/guitarist, invited Royce to live with him and study.
Soon Royce's reputation as a quality musician spread, and in 1973 he was asked to tour with vocalist Marvin Gaye. Two years later, Royce was hired by a local music contractor to do three concerts with Henry Mancini in Indianapolis. Mancini was so impressed by Royce's abilities that he asked him to become his regular touring guitarist, and Royce worked with Mancini for 19 years until Mancini's death in 1994.
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