Anthology (3cd set)
Artist: Roy Orbison
Cat No: NOT3CD099
Roy Orbison was a rare solo hitmaker in the group-dominated Sixties, using the experience gained following in the footsteps of Elvis at Sun Records to register UK and US chart-toppers. The year of 1962 is recalled in pop history as the year the Beatles released their first world-changing single. That was in October. Earlier in the year, when they made their radio debut on the BBC’s Teenager’s Turn, the song they chose to cover was Roy Orbison’s ‘Dream Baby’. The original had made US Number 4 and would reach UK Number 2 behind the Shadows’ ‘Wonderful Land’. Sun Records’ release of ‘Ooby Dooby’ on the label in May 1956 was a dream come true. It made Number 59 in Billboard’s chart and Orbison put a deposit on his dream car, a Cadillac, with his first royalty cheque. Not content with singing his own material, Roy decided that the best way to make his name as a songwriter was to pen a hit for the hottest act around, the Everly Brothers. He borrowed the cash to get to Indiana and, once backstage, played them ‘Claudette’, written for and named after his teenage sweetheart. The Everlys released it as the other side of their hit ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’. Orbison then left both Sun Records and the stage to become a songwriter with Nashville publishers Acuff-Rose. But he was soon back in the spotlight as an artist when ‘Only The Lonely’, a song turned down by the Everlys and Elvis Presley, sold a million in the US and reached Number 2, also topping the UK hit parade. It was a source of pride to Roy that he penned the hit himself with Joe Melson, former lead singer of Midland band the Cavaliers.
But there was heartbreak as well as success to contend with. Claudette died in a motorcycle accident, while two of Roy’s three sons perished in a house fire two years later. Luckily he found happiness with Barbara Wellhonen, a German girl who became his second wife. And Barbara it was who picked up the pieces when Roy Orbison died of a heart attack in December 1988 at the age of only 52. Roy Orbison’s music will surely be enjoyed for many years to come, and this fantastic collection, covering the story from Sun to his Sixties heyday, gives you many good reasons why why.