Born into a family of ten children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Humphries began playing drums at age four, and went professional at age 14. He led an ensemble at Carnegie Hall at age 16. Early in the 1960s, he began touring with jazz musicians; one of his more prominent gigs was in a trio with Stanley Turrentine and Shirley Scott in 1962. In 1964, he worked with Horace Silver, appearing on the album Song for My Father, where he played on four tracks, including the title tune. (On the same album Roy Brooks played on two tracks from a session recorded a year earlier). Following this Humphries drummed for Ray Charles.
Humphries's list of credits in jazz, R&B, and pop is extensive. Musicians he has played with, in addition to the above, include Lee Morgan, Grant Green, Billy Taylor, Bill Doggett, Benny Green, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Barry Harris, Clark Terry, J. J. Johnson, Billy Preston, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack McDuff, Gene Harris, George Harris[disambiguation needed], George Benson, Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, Johnny Griffin, Herbie Mann, Randy Brecker, Joe Williams, Milt Jackson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Hubert Laws, Dwayne Dolphin, Isley Brothers and Illinois Jacquet.
Humphries led his own band in the early 1970s, R.H. Factor, and led ensembles under other names into the 1990s. He has also held teaching positions at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. He released albums under his own name in 1993, 2003, and 2011.
- Horace Silver Live 1964 (Emerald, 1964)
- Horace Silver Song for my father (Blue Note, 1964)
- Carmell Jones Jay Hawk talk (Prestige, 1965)
- Horace Silver Cape Verdean blues (Blue Note, 1965)
- Horace Silver The Jody Grind (Blue Note, 1966)
- Frank Cunimondo Trio Introducing Lynn Marino (Mondo, 1969)
- Nathan Davis Makatuka (Segue, 1971)
- Roger Humphries and the RH Factor "This 'n' That" (Corona 1992)
- Dwayne Dolphin Portrait of Adrian (Minor Music, 1993)
- Jimmy Ponder Something to ponder (Muse, 1994)
- Steve Rudolph Everything I love (R&L Jazz, 1995)
- Al Dowe & Etta Cox Sunday Jam (1996)
- Nancy Wilson A Nancy Wilson Christmas (MCG Jazz 2001)
- Roger Humphries Big Band Don't give up (2003)
- Bill Heid Air mobile (Doodlin', 2006)
- Roger Humphries and the RH Factor "Keep the Faith" (Corona 2011)
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