Roy Orbison was one of the few artists to survive Beatle mania in the U.S. He had a surprise No. 59 hit in the U.S. with “Ooby Dooby” on the famous Sun label in 1956. “Claudette” was a hit for the Everly Brothers in 1957, (No. 30 in 1957).After a stint as a songwriter for Acuff Rose, Roy hit with the ballad “Only the Lonely”, a marriage of R&B and classic country. The song had been offered again to the Everly Brothers, and Elvis, but both turned it down. Roy then recorded the song at RCA in Nashville.
The band I was in at the time had a girl singer, and we played this song to death, really badly.
This classic reached No. 2 USA and No. 1 UK.
This was the beginning of a string of hits. “Blue Angel”, “Running Scared”, (the one that really turned me on to Roy) “Crying”. “Dream Baby”, and “In Dreams” all top 10 hits between 1960 and 1963.
Then “Oh Pretty Woman” went No 1 in both USA and UK .By the end of 1965 Roy had made the U.K. top 40 17times, and the USA top 40 20 times. His songs have been covered by artists such as Don McLean, (Crying”) and Linda Ronstadt, (“Blue Bayou”) Ro adopted a Beatles haircut but his hits dried up.
career quietened off then, until 1988 when Orbison began collaborating with
Electric Light Orchestra bandleader Jeff Lynne on a new album. Lynne had just
completed production work on George Harrison's Cloud Nine album, and all three
ate lunch together one day when Orbison accepted an invitation to sing on
Harrison's new single. They subsequently contacted Bob Dylan, who, in turn,
allowed them to use a recording studio in his home
Lynne later spoke of the recording sessions: "Everybody just sat there going, 'Wow, it's Roy Orbison!' ... Even though he's become your pal and you're hanging out and having a laugh and going to dinner, as soon as he gets behind that [mic] and he's doing his business, suddenly it's shudder time." The band's debut album, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 (1988), was released on October 25, 1988. Orbison was given one solo track, "Not Alone Anymore", on the album. His contributions were highly praised by the press. I was fortunate to see Roy Orbison twice here in Adelaide. Absolutely no presentation at all, just him with his dark shades, and his amazing voice.
Roy's Ultimate Collection
Roy’s Boys LLC, the Nashville-based company founded by the sons of Roy Orbison to administer their late father’s catalogue and safeguard his legacy, has teamed up with Legacy Recordings and Sony Music Entertainment Australia, to release ‘Roy Orbison – The Ultimate Collection.’
The 26-track anthology spans four decades, from his start at Sun Records in the mid 1950s, all the way through his massive comeback in the late ’80s. The collection chronicles Orbison’s work both as a solo artist and with supergroup Traveling Wilburys until his tragic death at the age of 52.
The Ultimate Collection’ marks the first time ever that any Roy Orbison compilation album has incorporated tracks from all of the aforementioned sources.
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