Pick 3 From Roy Orbison

Pick 3 from Roy Orbison  – this is tough for me since he is my ALL TIME FAVORITE singer!  No questions!  No hesitation! (Feel free to add your two cents.)

“Running Scared”

The casual fan may think of Roy as the master of ‘love-lost’ ballads, but my first pick, and one of my favorite Roy songs, details how Roy was the big winner in love… RUNNING SCARED. (Roy also wins the girl in “Pretty Woman”.)

I think this song is great as it builds into an enormous crescendo and then “You turned around and walked away with me.” Unbelievable story line, incredible vocals, really remarkable back-up vocals and a bass beat you can’t forget. Roy used to end his concerts with this song because he could leave the stage to that driving beat. Simply fantastic.


My second pick is CRYING. I picked this song simply because I think this is Roy’s best vocal performance ever and the song itself is truly outstanding. Plus, of course, who can forget the eighth-grade make-out parties where this song provided the “slow dance” opportunity to do a whole bunch of first-time stuff with your first-time steady?

“You Got It”

My third pick is YOU GOT IT.  Thank you Jeff Lynne for leading Roy back to the recording studio and giving us this key step in Roy’s resurgence in 1987.

This song, along with King of Hearts, Mystery Girl and his work with The Traveling Wilburys put the world on notice that Roy was back, better than ever. And the entire music community eagerly welcomed him with open arms!

Roy died on December 6, 1988… as Michael Jackson said in his song, Gone Too Soon!  What 3 would you pick from Roy?

Pick 3 From Brenda Lee

Pick 3 from Brenda Lee – this one is easy for me despite the fact she could break your heart with a rendition of the Marine’s Hymn.  My favorites are, in order (give a listen),

“I’m Sorry”  Brenda Lee Im Sorry

      I'm Sorry - Brenda Lee

“I Want To Be Wanted”  brenda lee i want to be wanted

      I Want To Be Wanted - Brenda Lee

“All Alone Am I”  brenda lee all alone am i

      All Alone Am I - Brenda Lee

“The little girl with the huge voice” was the moniker constantly assigned to Brenda Lee,  After her father’s death when she was 10, Brenda – and that huge voice – became the primary bread winner in her family.

Her big break came when – at 10 years old -she went to see Red Foley perform in Augusta in 1955.  A local disc jockey persuaded Foley to hear her sing before the show, and Foley was as transfixed as everyone else who heard the huge voice coming from the tiny girl so he immediately agreed to let her perform “Jambalaya” on stage that night, unrehearsed.

Foley later recounted the moments following her introduction:

“I still get cold chills thinking about the first time I heard that voice. One foot started patting rhythm as though she was stomping out a prairie fire but not another muscle in that little body even as much as twitched.  

“And when she did that trick of breaking her voice, it jarred me out of my trance enough to realize I’d forgotten to get off the stage.  There I stood, after 26 years of supposedly learning how to conduct myself in front of an audience, with my mouth open two miles wide and a glassy stare in my eyes.”

The audience erupted in applause and refused to let her leave the stage until she had sung three more songs.

A few months later Brenda signed a contract with Decca records, but it took until 1959 for Brenda to start her string of chart topping hits with “Sweet Nothings”, “I Want To Be Wanted”, “All Alone Am I” and “Fool #1”.

You could say that Brenda Lee was a victim of the English invasion, as the Beatles arrived in 1963 and forever changed the musical landscape of America.  But, what a career! From Rock to Country, Brenda Lee has left her mark for all of us to enjoy.

What 3 would you pick from Brenda?


Traveling Wilburys’ Tribute to Roy Orbison

“End of the Line” tells the story of receiving the respect of your peers… great music and a tribute to Roy Orbison from his Traveling Wilburys’ mates that evokes thoughts about what actually matters after you’ve enjoyed all the fame and riches.

George Harrison1The Traveling Wilburys, whose members were hand-picked by George Harrison, clearly matter.  Tom Petty relates that George selected band members based on whether or not he wanted to spend time with you, not the quality of your voice or what instruments you could play.  So he picked a line-up of his personal favorites -Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.

Petty Dylan LynneIt’s said that 5 lawyers in a hundred years couldn’t assemble what George did in 3 phone calls in one afternoon.  What a complement to each of them!  Being respected and appreciated by the peers that you admire the most –  obviously, those are things that actually matter.

A few things you can’t help noticing (besides the great music) when you watch the “End of the Line” video:

First, George never looked healthier or happier. Clearly, this is his gig and he knows he’s assembled a world class band just for the fun of it!  Everybody writes.  Everybody sings.  Everybody produces.  Everybody has a great time. Five talented pals, doing what they do best.

Second, Roy passed away after recording the song but before the video was produced. So, during his vocal performance, the guys placed his guitar on a “rock”ing chair and his picture on the mantle as a tribute to their missing partner.

Roy Orbison1They all adored Roy, marveled at his voice, & appreciated his professionalism. Even George, a Beatle, worshipped Roy.  When George called Tom to tell him about Roy’s passing, he said, “Don’t worry about Roy, he’ll be fine. He’s still with us.” Clearly they could feel his presence.

Third, Tom Petty is having the time of his life.  Imagine…he’s playing with George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison!  How cool is that?

Finally, Jeff Lynne, the main guy from ELO, and the person most responsible for Roy Orbison’s comeback, is finally getting some of the recognition he deserves.

Roy Orbison fans will love this video. How about you?  Comments welcome!

Cool Tunes, Cool Memories