It is kind of a secret. What I can say is that it is a musical project which should cross all boundaries. It is the kind of music, hardcore country people will love as well as hardcore rock and pop people, everybody will like it. I do not think that you can put a label on this music. It is very exciting, very big and very rhythmic and should appeal to listeners from little kids to adults as old as they come. We are working very hard on this CD. I am working with Joe Melson, who wrote all those great Roy Orbison standards like “Blue Bayou”, Crying”, “Only The Lonely” and so many more and he will be critiquing, inspiring, guiding, helping and doing that kind of thing and of course Joe’s writing partner, Larry Dever, who is also working very hard for me on this project. The band leader, arranger, conductor is Dan Borgers, who used to work with Glen Campbell. There are several people that are putting a real big effort into this. I am excited about the quality of people who are with me on this project.
In 1971 Joe was my producer at Empire Records in Nashville. We had worked together at the Golden Nuggett in Las Vegas for two weeks, with the Grand Ole Opry Show of Ernie Ashworth. Nancy Dee, who ran the Demon’s Den on lower Broadway in Nashville, was also on the show. I don’t know if its true, but I was told that Nancy was Webb Pierce’s daughter. She was a very talented singer. Every afternoon Nancy would play Black Jack. Always at the same Golden Nuggett table, with the same dealer. After leaving the table she would find me, or one of the band members, and hand over enough chips to buy supper for the band and me. What the heck, she knew that the opening act never gets rich, and I had been an opening act for over a decade now. Joe Melson wrote most of Roy Orbison’s hit records, and was an excellent singer himself. For two days prior to leaving for Las Vegas, we rehearsed a band at his home. He lived across the lake from Johnny and June Cash in Hendersonville. We fired that band before we left for Vegas, and hired a band out of Canada.
~~ Bill Morrison, Artist
I am working with one of my heroes, Joe Melson. That is a thrill because Joe is a genius, the man who wrote most of the Roy Orbison hits. They influenced the Stones, the Beatles and everybody else and of course Roy Orbison was Elvis’ favorite singer. Between Joe and Larry Dever and I, we have a lot of fun right here. This is a work of love that we are creating right now – it’s wonderful.
~~ Duane Hitchings, Songwriter/Keyboardist
It would be a unpardonable oversight to overlook the contribution of Joe Melson to Roy’s meteoric rise to stardom. Together, they developed the style of writing which has served as such a perfect vehicle for voice. It is a tribute to their ability as a team that other artists are beginning to latch on to their material.
~~ Boudleaux Bryant, Artist/Writer
Her first “real ” job was singing backup to Roy Orbison. According to Deborah, she approached him in the International House of Pancakes in which she was working as a waitress (on her day off) without realizing who he was, but she thought by his appearance he must be in the music business. However, Deborah was smart and asked if he (and co-writer Joe Melson, who was with him) were in insurance and when he told her that he was in entertainment, she told him that she was a singer. This is known as chutzpah. Her first session for The Big O netted her $90. In fact, that session happened by accident. At the time she met Roy and Joe, she did not have a telephone and when she could afford one, she contacted the Musicians’ Union, who told her that Joe Melson was looking for her. She worked at Opryland on the open stage known as the Showboat and was chosen to accompany Tennessee Ernie Ford as a singer and dancer when he visited Russia.
~~ Deborah Allen, artist