The Fastest Guitar Alive

The Fastest Guitar Alive is a 1967 American musical comedy film directed by Michael D. Moore and starring singer Roy Orbison in his only starring role as an actor.

The Fastest Guitar Alive
Theatrical film poster by Frank Frazetta
Directed byMichael D. Moore
Produced bySam Katzman
Written byRobert E. Kent
StarringRoy Orbison
Sammy Jackson
Maggie Pierce
Music byRoy Orbison
Bill Dees
Fred Karger
CinematographyW. Wallace Kelley
Edited byBen Lewis
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • September 1, 1967 (1967-09-01)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film features Orbison performing seven original songs which appeared on his 1967 MGM record album of the same name. His song "There Won't Be Many Coming Home" is featured in the 2015 western film The Hateful Eight.


A musical western, the story is set near the end of the American Civil War, with Orbison portraying a Southern spy with a bullet-shooting guitar given the task of robbing gold bullion from the United States Mint in San Francisco in order to help finance the Confederacy's war effort.


Production and Release

Filming began September 1966.[1] Although Orbison was pleased with the film, it proved to be a critical and box office flop. While MGM had included five films in his contract, no more were made.[2][3]


The Fastest Guitar Alive
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJune 1967
RecordedAugust 9 - December 22, 1966
GenreRock and roll
LabelMGM (E 4475)
ProducerWesley Rose & Jim Vienneau
Roy Orbison chronology
Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson
The Fastest Guitar Alive
Cry Softly Lonely One
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic [4]

The Fastest Guitar Alive is the soundtrack title for the 3313 record album from MGM Records - and Orbison's eleventh studio album - released in June 1967. It was the only album to consist entirely of Roy Orbison- Bill Dees originals. Its single "There Won't be Many Coming Home" reached #18 in the UK and entered the Australian chart at its highest position of #32 before slipping down the chart.

Track listing

All songs written by Roy Orbison and Bill Dees

Side one
2."Medicine Man, Medicine Man"2:43
4."The Fastest Guitar Alive"3:08
5."Rollin' On"2:15
Side two
2."Good Time Party"2:23
3."Heading South"2:45
4."Best Friend"2:38
5."There Won't Be Many Coming Home"2:46

The track, "Rollin' On", was covered on the 3313 record album Famous Western Film Melodies by the Prague Radio Dance Orchestra - ARTIA SUPRAPHON 1 13 1788.

See also


  1. Star Role for Jane Fonda Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 24 Aug 1966: d17
  2. Clayson, Alan, pp. 146–147.
  3. Amburn, pp. 151–153.
  4. The Fastest Guitar Alive at AllMusic

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