Roy Orbison - Hank Williams The Roy Orbison Way

TJR says:

Not in my collection.

The Pro review:

Roy Orbison was such an imposing talent, as a songwriter as well as a singer, that it’s easy to forget that he also loved doing the work of composers he respected, even if it meant giving up a copyright or two on an album. This LP carried that generosity of spirit as a performer several steps further, and is an all-but-forgotten releases from Orbison’s mid- to late-’60s period, when he was hardly burning up the charts in the United States. The album plays up the country aspects of Orbison’s sound, an element that was usually pushed into the background on his records — but also radically reinterpreting the material at hand. Producers Wesley Rose and Jim Vienneau, and arranger Bill McElhiney, give the music a full, big-band Nashville sound with a reinforced rhythm section. Hank Williams The Roy Orbison Way was one of Orbison’s more straight-ahead rocking albums of the period, albeit with a country twang, and sounds damn good today — in 1969, however, amid the burgeoning counterculture and given the weakness of MGM as a label, one can’t imagine a less appealing album to show up in stores from Orbison. His sound here is a little too countrypolitan to appeal to rock listeners, while his approach to the songs — with a big-band accompaniment and beat — was probably not accessible to those who remembered Williams with sufficient fondness to check out the record. The Edsel re-release offers excellent sound and reasonably informative notes, as well as reprinting the annotation from the original LP.

2.5 / 5
William Ruhlmann

Extra notes:

¹ Hank Williams The Roy Orbison Way is a music album recorded by Roy Orbison for MGM Records that was released in August of 1970. It is a tribute album to the songs of Country Music Hall of Fame honky tonk singer Hank Williams.

The complete “A-list” discography of Roy Orbison:

At The Rock House (1961) Lonely and Blue (1961) Crying (1962) In Dreams (1963) There Is Only One Roy Orbison (1965) The Orbison Way (1966) The Classic Roy Orbison (1966) Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson (1967) The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967) Cry Softly Lonely One (1967) Roy Orbison’s Many Moods (1969) Hank Williams The Roy Orbison Way (1970) Big O (1970) Roy Orbison Sings (1972) Memphis (1972) Milestones (1973) I’m Still In Love with You (1975) Regeneration (1977) Laminar Flow (1979) Mystery Girl (1989)