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Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:26 pm

Over the years I have read that when Roy was quitting with Sam Phillips and moved via RCA Victor to Monument he dicided to stop recording and just write songs for others like The Everly Brothers.There is a story that I first read from a writer i Rolling Stones many years ago that Roy stopped at Graceland to offer Elvis Only The Lonely. The story goes that Elvis was asleep and Roy had to wait until
Elvis was awake. He then drove away and offer the song to Everly Brothers, they rejected his offer and the rest is history.
I recently found the same story about Roy offered the song to Elvis, over the years I wonder if this story is true or false.
Any Roy fans out there can shed a light on this story?
No one can touch Roy ORbison on this number, but I Think Elvis could do magic with the song in 1960-1963.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:33 am

That story is true Roy Orbison confirmed that himself.

Roy Orbison was a performer but he struggled to make it so he earned a living as a songwriter before he hit it big with Only the lonely.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:01 am

Rebel Yell wrote:Over the years I have read that when Roy was quitting with Sam Phillips and moved via RCA Victor to Monument he dicided to stop recording and just write songs for others like The Everly Brothers.There is a story that I first read from a writer i Rolling Stones many years ago that Roy stopped at Graceland to offer Elvis Only The Lonely. The story goes that Elvis was asleep and Roy had to wait until
Elvis was awake. He then drove away and offer the song to Everly Brothers, they rejected his offer and the rest is history.
I recently found the same story about Roy offered the song to Elvis, over the years I wonder if this story is true or false.
Any Roy fans out there can shed a light on this story?
No one can touch Roy ORbison on this number, but I Think Elvis could do magic with the song in 1960-1963.


The story I know is that Roy Orbison "stopped by Graceland" to offer the song to Presley, but he was not there. However, I've never seen an interview with Roy confirms this actually happened. If anyone claiming differently can direct us to such information, that would be enlightening.

From what I can find, Roy's session for his classic single was at RCA's Studio B in Nashville just a few days after Elvis had cut his first material of the 1960s, using almost exactly the same musicians and engineer. How odd is that?


Elvis Presley
RCA Studio B, Nashville, TN
March 20-21, 1960


Make Me Know It
Soldier Boy
Stuck on You
Fame and Fortune
A Mess of Blues
It Feels So Right

---

Producer: Steve Sholes
Engineer: Bill Porter

Guitar/Bass : Hank Garland
Guitar : Scotty Moore
Guitar : Elvis Presley
Bass : Bob Moore
Drums : D.J. Fontana
Drums : Murrey "Buddy" Harman
Piano : Floyd Cramer
Backing vocals : Jordanaires

http://elvisrecordings.com/s600320.htm



Roy Orbison
RCA Studio B, Nashville, TN
March 26, 1960


Blue Avenue
Only The Lonely (Know The Way I Feel)
Here Comes That Song Again

---

Executive Producer: Fred Foster
Producer: Bob Moore
Engineer: Bill Porter

Guitar : Hank Garland
Guitar : Harold Bradley
Bass : Bob Moore
Drums : Murrey "Buddy" Harman
Piano : Floyd Cramer
Saxophone : Homer "Boots" Randolph
Backing vocals : Joe Melson
Backing vocals : Anita Kerr Singers

http://countrydiscography.blogspot.com/2011/06/roy-orbison.html

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:27 am

There is a lot of stories about Roy and many Elvis "connections". Roy almost started out at Sam Phillips almost as The Teen Kings had Ooby Dooby bw Trying To Get To You out by the Je-Wel label. Actually he had TTGTY out before Elvis. After Sun he had two years at Rca Victor two 45's was released non of them hitted the charts. I never read or saw an interview with Roy telling the story about Elvis and OTL, but the story has been around for ages. Would be nice if there was such a Interview from Roy himself otherwise.
The whole story might be another of those great legends in rock&roll, but it is a nice one :-)

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:14 am

Would someone please find the footage of Elvis on Roy Orbison's local t.v. show circa 1955?

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:17 am

Roy Orbison in fact recounted this famous story in a number of interviews over the years. He stopped by Elvis' house at 6:00 in the morning on the way to Nashville to offer him Only The Lonely but everyone was asleep. Roy gave a note to the gatekeeper for Elvis and Elvis replied to Roy with a note saying that everyone was all over the place and he would see him in Nashville.

Roy's most detailed account of the story can be heard in this interview from 1980 (3:00 onwards). He also jokingly gives his slightly hurt reaction to his song being rejected by Elvis. Roy goes on to joke about not being allowed to record in the studio because Elvis had it booked for 3 whole days. Roy jokes: "I had to wait 3 days cooling my heels while my good friend was in there with all the money in the world and I didn't have a dime to my name". Enjoy!

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Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:38 am

Wonderful, the story is confirmed by Mr Orbison himself. Never read or heard that interview before thank you all.
Roy realy earned the fame Only The Lonely gave him.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:59 am

Excerpt from "Dark Star: The Roy Orbison Story" by Ellis Amburn (pgs. 91-92):

Accompanied by Roy's drummer, Roy and Joe (Melson) headed for Nashville and when they got as far as Memphis, Joe recalled, "Roy said, 'Look, we need some loot. Let's stop by Elvis's here in Memphis.' I said, 'Roy, I've had my heart set on you recording "Only the Lonely." '
"'I hate to give it up, Joe, but if Elvis cut it, we'd have so much money, we'd still have time to work some more, and we can write another one.' "
In fact, Roy decided to give a whole batch of songs to Elvis, not just "Only the Lonely." They pulled up at 6 a.m. in front of the Music Gates at Graceland. As Roy said in the (Glenn A.) Baker interview, "I handed the guard a note telling him I was at the gate. I was going to hang around if it was too early until everybody got awake and eventually sing him 'Only the Lonely',,, he was just out of the Army and due to record.
Elvis sent a note back saying, 'Everbody's all over the place. Everbody's sleeping everwhere there is a place. See you in Nashville. We're leaving today. See you then.' It was sort of a slight. That's the way creative people are. We get our feelings hurt He should have at least found out I've got a smash here. If he's going to record he needs it."
According to Joe Melson, Roy looked at him and said, "I guess Elvis isn't made up yet."

They left and the the section goes on to describe their encounter with Don and Phil Everly in Nashville at the Acuff-Rose dub studio.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:15 pm

Only The Lonely is one of the great pop records. I'm pleased that Roy kept it for himself.

The follow-up - Blue Angel c/w Today's Teardrops - is the first record I ever bought : two more fabulous songs.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:20 pm

I wonder if Parker had anything to do with why Elvis refused to record ' Only The Lonely'?

I can imagine that Parker would have been angered that another singer/songwriter was going directly to Elvis to try and get his song recorded by Elvis.

Also could be the reason why Elvis didn't want to record Roy's song, cause it would have upset Parker.

For the 18 months Elvis was in Germany, he had no control over what Elvis did and where he went so i guess when Elvis got back he wanted no one to interfere in any aspect of Elvis' career.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:44 pm

Bodie wrote:I wonder if Parker had anything to do with why Elvis refused to record ' Only The Lonely'?

I can imagine that Parker would have been angered that another singer/songwriter was going directly to Elvis to try and get his song recorded by Elvis.


There is no question that Roy Orbison would have been asked to give up a piece of the publishing in exchange for Elvis to record the song.

Roy may have done that because Elvis Presley in 1960 was a guaranteed million seller.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:55 pm

brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:I wonder if Parker had anything to do with why Elvis refused to record ' Only The Lonely'?

I can imagine that Parker would have been angered that another singer/songwriter was going directly to Elvis to try and get his song recorded by Elvis.


There is no question that Roy Orbison would have been asked to give up a piece of the publishing in exchange for Elvis to record the song.

Roy may have done that because Elvis Presley in 1960 was a guaranteed million seller.


I know that but i was thinking that maybe it was the thought that Roy was unintentionally going behind Parker's back why Elvis wasn't interested in Roy's song.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:30 pm

Bodie wrote:
brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:I wonder if Parker had anything to do with why Elvis refused to record ' Only The Lonely'?

I can imagine that Parker would have been angered that another singer/songwriter was going directly to Elvis to try and get his song recorded by Elvis.


There is no question that Roy Orbison would have been asked to give up a piece of the publishing in exchange for Elvis to record the song.

Roy may have done that because Elvis Presley in 1960 was a guaranteed million seller.


I know that but i was thinking that maybe it was the thought that Roy was unintentionally going behind Parker's back why Elvis wasn't interested in Roy's song.


If Roy would have gave up a piece of the publishing Parker wouldn't have cared.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:37 pm

brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:
brian wrote:
Bodie wrote:I wonder if Parker had anything to do with why Elvis refused to record ' Only The Lonely'?

I can imagine that Parker would have been angered that another singer/songwriter was going directly to Elvis to try and get his song recorded by Elvis.


There is no question that Roy Orbison would have been asked to give up a piece of the publishing in exchange for Elvis to record the song.

Roy may have done that because Elvis Presley in 1960 was a guaranteed million seller.


I know that but i was thinking that maybe it was the thought that Roy was unintentionally going behind Parker's back why Elvis wasn't interested in Roy's song.


If Roy would have gave up a piece of the publishing Parker wouldn't have cared.


Depending on how big the piece was.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:12 pm

25%.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:24 pm

Too much is being read into this scenario. It is probably a stretch to conclude that Parker played a role in blocking the submission, or that Elvis' awareness of Parker's position influenced his own actions in blowing off Roy. It appears that Roy attempted to submit the song to Elvis and for whatever reason, Elvis wasn't committed to hearing the submission and missed out on recording a dynamic number. One thing to remember is that material for the 1960 session work was already coming together and being submitted in its own way. It seems unlikely that Elvis would have deviated from the system in place and spend time listening to Roy's submission(s).

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:34 pm

midnightx wrote:Too much is being read into this scenario. It is probably a stretch to conclude that Parker played a role in blocking the submission, or that Elvis' awareness of Parker's position influenced his own actions in blowing off Roy. It appears that Roy attempted to submit the song to Elvis and for whatever reason, Elvis wasn't committed to hearing the submission and missed out on recording a dynamic number. One thing to remember is that material for the 1960 session work was already coming together and being submitted in its own way. It seems unlikely that Elvis would have deviated from the system in place and spend time listening to Roy's submission(s).


I agree.
My Parker suggestion was just a possibility, nothing more.

Be interesting to find any info of what Elvis thought when he found out how successful the song was.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:29 am

charro1971 wrote:Roy Orbison in fact recounted this famous story in a number of interviews over the years. He stopped by Elvis' house at 6:00 in the morning on the way to Nashville to offer him Only The Lonely but everyone was asleep. Roy gave a note to the gatekeeper for Elvis and Elvis replied to Roy with a note saying that everyone was all over the place and he would see him in Nashville.

Roy's most detailed account of the story can be heard in this interview from 1980 (3:00 onwards). He also jokingly gives his slightly hurt reaction to his song being rejected by Elvis. Roy goes on to joke about not being allowed to record in the studio because Elvis had it booked for 3 whole days. Roy jokes: "I had to wait 3 days cooling my heels while my good friend was in there with all the money in the world and I didn't have a dime to my name". Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yirpjBWqmQ


Thanks for finding that. It turns out it's a dub from an obscure, 1980 U.K. picture disc with the interview. I wonder when it was done, and who asked the questions. As may be evidenced by Roy's own words, his memory is not quite accurate. Elvis had RCA's Studio B booked only one evening: 3-20-1960 (Sun), working though the night until about 7am the next morning. Orbison says they arrived at Graceland around 6am, and the note he got back "from Elvis" said they were leaving that day for Nashville. So that means they must have been there on 3-20. I doubt Elvis was up at 6am, but whoever wrote that note wasn't lying. The Presley group was likely preparing for the drive to Nashville laster that day.

In any event, the rejection of Roy singing his song to Elvis did not come from management. It was basically bad timing. Presley's material was set to go, and he was sleeping when the visit apparently happened. In retrospect, thank goodness Roy kept it, as it could not have been done better by anyone else. Presley loved Orbison, and must have loved the song a lot. You can hear a one-liner of "Only The Lonely" during the classic Memphis session for "It Keeps Right-On A Hurtin'" on 2-20-1969, at American Sound Studios, produced by Chips Moman.


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Here's exactly the start of Orbison's memory:


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And here's the picture disc:


800600_Baktabak VBAK 3002_Roy Orbison Life of a Legend_01.jpg


800600_Baktabak VBAK 3002_Roy Orbison Life of a Legend_02.jpg


MaryAnn wrote:Excerpt from "Dark Star: The Roy Orbison Story" by Ellis Amburn (pgs. 91-92):

Accompanied by Roy's drummer, Roy and Joe (Melson) headed for Nashville and when they got as far as Memphis, Joe recalled, "Roy said, 'Look, we need some loot. Let's stop by Elvis's here in Memphis.' I said, 'Roy, I've had my heart set on you recording "Only the Lonely." '
"'I hate to give it up, Joe, but if Elvis cut it, we'd have so much money, we'd still have time to work some more, and we can write another one.' "
In fact, Roy decided to give a whole batch of songs to Elvis, not just "Only the Lonely." They pulled up at 6 a.m. in front of the Music Gates at Graceland. As Roy said in the (Glenn A.) Baker interview, "I handed the guard a note telling him I was at the gate. I was going to hang around if it was too early until everybody got awake and eventually sing him 'Only the Lonely',,, he was just out of the Army and due to record.
Elvis sent a note back saying, 'Everbody's all over the place. Everbody's sleeping everwhere there is a place. See you in Nashville. We're leaving today. See you then.' It was sort of a slight. That's the way creative people are. We get our feelings hurt He should have at least found out I've got a smash here. If he's going to record he needs it."
According to Joe Melson, Roy looked at him and said, "I guess Elvis isn't made up yet."

They left and the the section goes on to describe their encounter with Don and Phil Everly in Nashville at the Acuff-Rose dub studio.


Looks like some of this is taken from that picture disc interview. It's a bit more mean-spirited, somehow. Maybe the author wasn't an Elvis fan.

Thanks.
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Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:39 am

Roy was writing before this, but he was a minor artist with fairly limited credentials at this point, so it's not surprising that Elvis didnt jump at the chance to hear the song. If Roy had made a similar offer later, it would probably have been taken more seriously.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:50 am

I Think that most of the hits Roy wrote and recorded couldn't be done better with any other singer. The songs just fits his voice and the style. The style he had developed since he started out. He was a great ballad singer and it's a no brainer why he didn't had sucess it with Sam Phillips in 56. When Elvis heard OTL and the other hits from Roy I think he felt the same, he couldn't do Roy's song any justice so it was a no-go

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:02 am

TJ wrote:Roy was writing before this, but he was a minor artist with fairly limited credentials at this point, so it's not surprising that Elvis didnt jump at the chance to hear the song. If Roy had made a similar offer later, it would probably have been taken more seriously.


As I wrote earlier, I don't think Elvis actually knew about this visit, or the offer.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:35 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
TJ wrote:Roy was writing before this, but he was a minor artist with fairly limited credentials at this point, so it's not surprising that Elvis didnt jump at the chance to hear the song. If Roy had made a similar offer later, it would probably have been taken more seriously.


As I wrote earlier, I don't think Elvis actually knew about this visit, or the offer.


Really ?

Can you imagine if he wasn't told about the visit . . . and later somehow found out about it . . . that he would have been pleased ? I don't think anyone would have intentionally kept this from him unless they no longer cared about keeping their job.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:26 pm

I think we can assume that all material for the Elvis Is Back session was sorted out and ready to be recorded. If Elvis was to use material from Roy it would be for future project. Roy didn't have any success earlier and decided to stop recording and write song for other to record. History changed when he recorded Only The Lonely and he's career as a singer took of, and for the comming years he had lots of hits. The song he wrote suited him better than to be recorded by Elvis. The only song I Think Elvis could do justice at the time is
Oh, Pretty Woman. But that's my personal opinion.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:40 pm

I am very glad Roy recorded Only the Lonely and soon he became "The Big O". He deserved it and delighted millions of fans. A magnificent voice.

Re: Roy Orbison Only The Lonely

Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:25 pm

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