The Petty Archives

Hillbilly classic makes comeback
Lewiston Sun-Journal - July 16, 1990

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A wistful hillbilly classic made popular in the 1940s by country singer Hank Snow is making a comeback on an all-star album recorded by the Traveling Wilburys.

"Nobody's Child," co-written by Mel Foree and Cy Coben, provided the backdrop and title track for an album recorded to raise funds for Romanian orphans.

The Traveling Wilburys -- George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty -- get help on their acoustic version of the song by Eric Clapton, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr and Guns N' Roses.

Foree, 73, said doubts he had about the new recordings have disappeared.

"They are the biggest -- Bob Dylan and those boys," Foree told The Tennessean.

"But I have to tell you honestly -- I guess I'm one of the old fogies -- I wouldn't have thought it (the Wilburys' version) would have been anything at all," Foree said. "But with this new age, you can't ever tell."

The song, which originally was written about the plight of orphans, now is aimed at a relief effort to help thousands of neglected children discovered in Romanian orphanages after the fall of the Ceausescu regime.

The album, to be released this month, features contributions from Billy Idol, Dave Stewart and the Spiritual Cowboys, Van Morrison, the Bee Gees, Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, and Mike and the Mechanics.

A portion of the royalties will go to the Romanian Angel Appeal Fund.