Tommy Loy, 72, one of Denison’s most celebrated native born sons, died October 18, 2002 of pancreatic cancer at his home in Plano.

Loy was best known for his 22-year stint playing a solo performance of the National Anthem before Dallas Cowboy home football games during the Tom Landry rein as Cowboy’s coach.

Loy was a 1947 graduate of Denison High School and never missed a class reunion. He was a member of the Denison High School Band when in school here. He had attended Central Ward School in Denison. While he was growing up, his father operated a café in the old Binkley Hotel in Denison and his grandfather had a medical clinic in Denison.

He graduated from SMU, earning a degree in music education in 1955. This was after a stint in the Air Force with the 49th Armored Division Band.

Loy began the Cowboy tradition on Thanksgiving Day 1966. The day before that game someone tipped him off about tryouts. He played and five minutes before game time he was told he had the job. When Landry left the Coyboys, Tommy left too. In February 2000 he played at Landry’s funeral.

He was well known in the jazz scene in Dallas and across the nation for more than 50 years, playing the trumpet and cornet. Among his last performances was the Sacramento Jazz Festival in California, where he played with the Cell Block 7, the original group with which he had played in 1953. In August he was featured at a series of jazz concerts in Scotland and became ill shortly after returning to Dallas. He played his regular Tuesday night at the Bavarian Grill in Plano in mid-September that year..

He had worked in the recording industry most of his life. - Donna Hunt


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