The Traveling Wilburys

Author: Janet



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Reversing the usual process by which groups break up and give way to solo careers, the Traveling Wilburys are a group made up of solo stars. The group was organized by former Beatle George Harrison, former Electric Light Orchestra leader Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Roy Orbison, thus representing three generations of rock stars.

In 1988, the five (who had known each other for years) came together to record a Harrison B-side single and ended up writing and recording an album on which they shared lead vocals. It turned out to be a way to transcend the high expectations made of any of them as individuals, and a delighted public sent the album to number three, with two singles, “Handle With Care” and “End of the Line” hitting the charts. Unfortunately, Orbison died of a heart attack only a few weeks after the album’s release.

Two years later, the remaining quartet released a second album, inexplicably titled Vol. 3. Although it didn’t match the success of the first Wilburys album, it was another million-selling hit. Throughout the ’90s, there were rumors of another Traveling Wilburys record in the works, but no new albums from the group surfaced. Harrison and Lynne did re-team in 1995, when Lynne produced and reworked two John Lennon demos with the Beatles for their Anthology rarities collection. – William Ruhlmann

The Traveling Wilburys of Volume 1 were:

* Nelson Wilbury – George Harrison
* Otis Wilbury – Jeff Lynne
* Lefty Wilbury – Roy Orbison
* Charlie T. Jr. – Tom Petty
* Lucky Wilbury – Bob Dylan

The Traveling Wilburys of Volume 3 were:

* Spike Wilbury – George Harrison
* Clayton Wilbury – Jeff Lynne
* Muddy Wilbury – Tom Petty
* Boo Wilbury – Bob Dylan

Additional named Traveling Wilburys on the 2007 Collection were:

* Buster Sidebury – Jim Keltner
* Ayrton Wilbury – Dhani Harrison

Jim Keltner, the session drummer and percussionist, was not listed as a Wilbury in Volume 1 or 3; however he is in some of the music videos. In the DVD released in 2007, he is given the Wilbury nickname ‘Buster Sidebury’. Furthermore, overdubs to the unreleased tracks “Maxine” and “Like A Ship” credit Ayrton Wilbury, a pseudonym for Dhani Harrison.


Studio albums

* Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 – October 24, 1988
* Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 – October 29, 1990


* The Traveling Wilburys Collection – June 12, 2007


* “Handle with Care” – October 1988 (Also re-issued on vinyl in June 2007)
* “Last Night” – December 1988
* “End of the Line” – February 1989
* “Heading For The Light” – April 1989
* “Nobody’s Child” – June 1990
* “She’s My Baby” – October 1990
* “Inside Out” – January 1991

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