15 Dec 2015

One Of The Lonely Ones by Roy Orbison

From The Sampler, 7:35 pm on 15 December 2015
Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison Photo: Supplied

Nick Bollinger searches through a 'lost' album of the late Roy Orbison.

no metadata

Though his career kicked off in his Texas birthplace, and gained traction with some singles cut for Sam Phillips’s Sun records in the wake of Elvis, it was his early sixties recordings that defined Roy Orbison. Records like ‘Running Scared’ and ‘In Dreams’ were almost without precedent; songs full of passion and paranoia, played like three-minute psychological dramas. And that place was still home to Roy when he cut this ‘lost’ album in 1969.

Why it was never released remains a mystery. Perhaps it has something to do with the tragedy that overshadowed his career in this period. (In 1966 he lost his first wife in a motorcycle accident; two years later both his sons died in a house fire.) Or perhaps some bean-counter at the record label had simply decided this stuff wasn’t selling enough anymore. Either way, it’s all going on in these forgotten recordings: the combination of country music and urbane, almost Italian-esque pop, beautifully executed by peerless session pro’s with Orbison’s voice soaring operatically above it all.

Songs played: You’ll Never Walk Alone, Say No More, One Of The Lonely Ones, Little Girl, The Defector

Get the new RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to The Sampler

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)