May 2, 2012
Roy Orbison was a respected rockabilly artist with the Sun label but with little commercial success. His only chart hit was “Ooby Dooby,” which reached number 59 during 1956.
During the early 1960s he signed with the Monument label for whom he would compile one of the better catalogs of music of the decade.
His break-out hit was his second single release for the label, “Only The Lonely.” It was classic Orbison as it featured his operetic voice and lyrics of heartbreak. It first reached the chart June 6, 1960, and peaked at number two on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart.
“Only The Lonely” was his first hit and there were a lot more to follow.
June 14, 2011
Roy Orbison’s career came to almost a halt when he left the Monument Label during 1964. His time with the MGM label produced no big hits and his albums became less commercially successful.
With a great deal of fanfare Orbison resigned with the Monument label during 1977 and released the album, REGENERATION. It was not successful and it would be another decade before he made a true comeback.
“Belinda” was a single released from the album. It proved that his voice was still a formidable instrument but it did not receive any chart action. It remains one of many obscure Roy Orbison singles.
May 23, 2011
I still have difficulty believing that switching from the Monument label to MGM could have had such a negative effect on the career of Roy Orbison.
While with Monument, 1960-1964, he issued some of the best and commercially successful singles of the 1960’s. The summer of 1964 found his “Oh, Pretty Woman” topping the American singles chart for three weeks.
1965 found him on the MGM label. He would never have a top twenty hit for the label and it would not be until 1989 that he would have another single enter the top ten.
I can only think of two excellent MGM singles; “Ride Away” and “Cry Softly Lonely One.” “Breakin’ Up Is Breakin’ My Heart” is at least average. The issue was not his voice, which remained a formidable instrument until the end of his life. It was his choice of material. It would reach number 31 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart.
While it was not a great performances, any Roy Orbison picture sleeve was welcome at the time.