Roy Fox was born in Denver, CO, on October 25, 1901, and raised in Hollywood, CA. He took up the cornet at the age of 11, gave his first public performances in a Bijou Kinema, became a member of the Los Angeles Examiner Newsboys' Band when he was 13, and then served as a bugler at one of Cecil B. DeMille's first film studios on Sunset Boulevard. At the age of 16 Fox began performing with Abe Lyman & His Orchestra at the Sunset Inn in Santa Monica. His bandmates included trombonist Miff Mole, clarinetist Gussie Miller, and pianist and future bandleader Gus Arnheim. Fox was asked to serenade the clientele by walking among the tables and blowing his horn softly so as not to interfere with their conversations. So adept did he become at this specialty that Roy Fox soon became known as "the Whispering Cornetist."