Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Roy Orbison is celebrated primarily for his years with the Sun and Monument Records labels, where he recorded such career-defining hits as "Ooby Dooby," "Only the Lonely," "In Dreams," "Crying" and "Oh, Pretty Woman" in the '50s and early '60s. But 50 years ago, at the height of Beatlemania, the singer was the object of a fierce bidding war that led to a $1 million move to MGM Records. His eight-year, 12-album tenure there was not as commercially successful as his previous years, but with top 40 and international hits like "Ride Away" and "Breakin' Up Is Breakin' My Heart," it was still creatively vital. And Orbison's heirs are ensuring that era of his career gets its due.
In December, Roys Boys LLC -- the Nashville-based company run by sons Wesley, Roy Jr. and Alex Orbison -- will release a pair of projects from the MGM vaults through Universal Music Enterprises. The 153-song MGM Years will feature all of Orbison's albums plus a rarities compilation, while One of the Lonely Ones is an unreleased 12-track album recorded in 1969 but shelved due to what Alex calls "a logjam of releases" and some financial issues with the label. A copy of that album will be included with the first 500 preordered physical copies of the box set, and with preorders of the digital version.