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Music Storytellers - ROY ORBISON
Music Storytellers - ROY ORBISON Photo

ALBUMS:
1961 Roy Orbison at the Rock House
  Lonely and Blue
1962 Crying
1963 In Dreams
1965 There Is Only One Roy Orbison
  Orbisongs
1966 The Orbison Way
  The Classic Roy Orbison
1967 Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson
  The Fastest Guitar Alive Original Soundtrack
  Cry Softly Lonely One
1969 Roy Orbison's Many Moods
1970 Hank Williams the Roy Orbison Way
  The Big O
1972 Roy Orbison Sings
  Memphis
1973 Milestones
1974 I'm Still in Love with You
1977 Regeneration
1979 Laminar Flow
1985 Class of '55
  (with Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins)
1989 Mystery Girl
1992 King of Hearts

Roy Orbison - 

Although he shared the same rockabilly roots as Carl PerkinsJohnny Cash, and Elvis PresleyRoy Orbison went on to pioneer an entirely different brand of country/pop-based rock & roll in the early '60s. What he lacked in charisma and photogenic looks, Orbison made up for in spades with his quavering operatic voice and melodramatic narratives of unrequited love and yearning. In the process, he established rock & roll archetypes of the underdog and the hopelessly romantic loser. These were not only amplified by peers such as Del Shannon and Gene Pitney, but also influenced future generations of roots rockers such as Bruce Springsteen and Chris Isaak, as well as modern country stars the Mavericks.
 
Orbison made his first widely distributed recordings for Sun Records in 1956. Roy was a capable rockabilly singer, and had a small national hit with his first Sun single, "Ooby Dooby." But even then, he was far more comfortable as a ballad singer than as a hepped-up rockabilly jive cat. Other Sun singles met with no success, and by the late '50s he was concentrating primarily on building a career as a songwriter, his biggest early success being "Claudette" (recorded by the Everly Brothers).
 
After a brief, unsuccessful stint with RCA, Orbison finally found his voice with Monument Records, scoring a number-two hit in 1960 with "Only the Lonely." This established the Roy Orbison persona for good: a brooding rockaballad of failed love with a sweet, haunting melody, enhanced by his Caruso-like vocal trills at the song's emotional climax. These and his subsequent Monument hits also boasted innovative, quasi-symphonic production, with Roy's voice and guitar backed by surging strings, ominous drum rolls, and heavenly choirs of backup vocalists.
 
Between 1960 and 1965, Orbison would have 15 Top 40 hits for Monument, including such nail-biting mini-dramas as "Running Scared," "Crying," "In Dreams," and "It's Over." Not just a singer of tear-jerking ballads, he was also capable of effecting a tough, bluesy swagger on "Dream Baby," "Candy Man," and "Mean Woman Blues." In fact, his biggest and best hit was also his hardest-rocking: "Oh, Pretty Woman" soared to number one in late 1964, at the peak of the British Invasion.
 
It seemed at that time that Roy was well-equipped to survive the British onslaught of the mid-'60s. He had even toured with the Beatles in Britain in 1963, and John Lennon has admitted to trying to emulate Orbison when writing the Beatles' first British chart-topper, "Please Please Me." But Orbison's fortunes declined rapidly after he left Monument for MGM in 1965. It would be easy to say that the major label couldn't replicate the unique production values of the classic Monument singles, but that's only part of the story. Roy, after all, was still writing most of his material, and his early MGM records were produced in a style that closely approximated the Monument era. The harder truth to face was that his songs were starting to sound like lesser variations of themselves, and that contemporary trends in rock and soul were making him sound outdated.
 
Orbison, like many early rock greats, could always depend on large overseas audiences to pay the bills. The two decades between the mid-'60s and mid-'80s were undeniably tough ones for him, though, both personally and professionally. A late-'60s stab at acting failed miserably. In 1966, his wife died in a motorcycle accident; a couple of years later, his house burned down, two of his sons perishing in the flames. Periodic comeback attempts with desultory albums in the 1970s came to naught.

Orbison's return to the public eye came about through unexpected circumstances. In the mid-'80s, David Lynch's Blue Velvet film prominently featured "In Dreams" on its soundtrack. That led to the singer making an entire album of re-recordings of hits, with T-Bone Burnett acting as producer. The record was no substitute for the originals, but it did help restore him to prominence within the industry. Shortly afterward, he joined George HarrisonBob DylanTom Petty, and Jeff Lynne in the Traveling Wilburys. Their successful album set the stage for Orbison's best album in over 20 years, Mystery Girl, which emulated the sound of his classic '60s work without sounding hackneyed. By the time it reached the charts in early 1989, however, Orbison was dead, claimed by a heart attack in December 1988.
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/roy-orbison-mn0000852007
| Closed on 03/24/13 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Music | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
11 Fans 
45%a. 10 (Great Artist)
18%b. 7-9 (Like his music)
27%c. 5-6 (Ok)
9%d. 1-4 (No Interest / Never heard of him)
0%e. He Sucked!

  
6 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed
Vote for your favorite comments. Fans decide the Top Comment (3+ votes) and also hide poor quality comments (4+ votes).
#1 | 518 days ago

Pretty woman, walking down the street
Pretty woman, the kind I like to meet
Pretty woman
I don't believe you, you're not the truth
No one could look as good as you
Mercy

Pretty woman, won't you pardon me
Pretty woman, I couldn't help see
Pretty woman
That you look lovely as can be
Are you lonely just like me
Wow

Pretty woman, stop a while
Pretty woman, talk a while
Pretty woman, gave your smile to me
Pretty woman, yeah yeah yeah
Pretty woman, look my way
Pretty woman, say you'll stay with me
'Cause I need you, I'll trear you right
Come with me baby, be mine tonight

Pretty woman, don't walk on by
Pretty woman, make me cry
Pretty woman, don't walk away, hey...okay
If that's the way it must be, okay
I guess I'll go on home, it's late
There'll be tomorrow nigh, but wait
What do I see
Is she walking back to me
Yeah, she's walking back to me
Oh, oh, Pretty woman
 
It's really the only song I know, and mostly because of the movie

 
5-6 (Ok)  
#2 | 518 days ago

CLASSIC OLDIES SINGER......MANY MANY GREAT HITS.......................yes
#3 | 518 days ago

I always thought if a movie was made about Roy Orbison, Joe Pesci should play the lead role.
10 (Great Artist)  
#4 | 517 days ago

I think he was a great artist.  I like a lot of his songs.

He has a lot a great oldies   ..                                        yes
10 (Great Artist)  
#5 | 517 days ago

Travelin' Wilburys!
Handle Me With Care


I'm so tired of being lonely,I still have some love to give,won't you show me that you really care.
10 (Great Artist)  
#6 | 513 days ago

I know nothing about him, but his tan is serious business in that pic.
1-4 (No Interest / Never heard of him)  

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