“UPTOWN” from Black & White Night

“UPTOWN” was originally recorded by Roy Orbison on Sept. 18, 1959.

Although Orbison recorded a few sessions at Monument before “UPTOWN,” this was the first song to really begin his run with all the parts in place : RCA Studio B, Fred Foster as producer, Roy Orbison’s studio band consisting of Harold Bradley on rhythm guitar, Floyd Cramer on piano, Boots Randolph on saxophone, Buddy Harman on drums, Bob Moore on bass, (Charlie McCoy on harmonica later), and the unbelievable talent of Joe Melson as co-writer.

Joe Melson was Roy’s “partner-in-crime” in those days and they worked out all the arrangements and background parts and rhythms before they went in to record. These ideas were filtered through Bob Moore and Harold Bradley and Anita Kerr and Joe Tanner and Fred Foster, etc. It was a group effort and a meeting of the best musicians in their respective fields. Each one adding their heart and soul to some of the finest musice ever recorded.

Monument Single #412, Uptown reached #72, which was a medium success for Orbison at the time. (Although not compared to Orbison’s next hit, #1 worldwide “ONLY THE LONELY” ((#2 in USA))

Here is a later version of “UPTOWN” as performed at the Black & White Night Concert with another set of fantastic musicians- Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, James Burton, Jackson Browne, J. D. Souther, k.d. lang, and others. –


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