Who was/is Joe Melson ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Joe Melson


Joe Melson


The Joe Melson story is inextricably linked with that of Roy Orbison. They met during Orbison's darkest days, just after he had been shunted from RCA to Monument. Melson, born in Bonham, Texas, in May 1935, was leading a group called the Cavaliers in Midland, Texas, when they met one night. "A mutual friend, Ray Rush, was dealing around in management," said Melson, "and he loved my songwriting. I played him a song one night, and he said, 'I want you to meet Roy Orbison.' I think Ray wanted to show Roy that someone in the area could write songs besides him."

They began writing songs. First came a modest hit, Uptown, then came Only The Lonely with Melson leading the chorus on the unforgettable counter-melody ("dum, dum, dum, dummy, doo-wah"). Orbison and Melson collaborated until 1961, then parted under a cloud. "Even Roy admitted the fame wasn't divided equally," said Joe. "I'd helped him establish the artistry and style. We wrote songs for that voice. We made a stylist in the writing room where nobody sees."  Roy and Joe wrote for Acuff-Rose Music, and in the wake of Roy's success, Joe got a deal with Acuff-Rose's Hickory label. His second record, Barbara, was almost one that Buddy Holly might have made had he lived another year.

After the rift with Roy, Joe continued recording for Hickory and co-wrote Run Baby, Run for the Newbeats. He reunited with Roy for an album on MGM, 'Cry Softly Lonely One,' and later co-wrote a song for Roy's comeback album on Virgin, but despite the fact that he looked like a star and sounded like a star, his story remains yoked to the half-dozen classics written long ago with Roy Orbison.

- Colin Escott -

Various - The Drugstore's Rockin' Vol.1,

The Drugstore's Rockin' (CD)

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More information about Joe Melson on Wikipedia.org

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