Roy Orbison

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Biography

Born: April 23, 1936; Vernon, TX   Died: December 6, 1988; Madison, TN  
Although he shared the same rockabilly roots as Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, Roy 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 Read more and the hopelessly romantic loser. 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. He 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. Read less
Browse 1-4 of 4 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Storyteller / Alfie Boe
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001850502 Release Date: 08/06/2013  
    Composer:  Paul Simon,  George David Weiss,  Mick Jagger,  Elvis Presley  ... 
    Performer:  Alfie Boe
    CD: $15.99
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  • 2.
    The Fabulous Film Themes [3 CD Set]
    Label: United Multimedia   Catalog: 63242 Release Date: 03/06/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Henry Mancini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Francis Lai,  Leonard Rosenman  ... 
    Performer:  London Studio Orchestra
    CD: $10.99
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  • 3.
    Wicked Game / Il Divo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 796448 Release Date: 11/08/2011  
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Roy Orbison,  Chris Isaak,  David Baerwald  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Divo,  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 4.
    So Strong / The Celtic Tenors
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57284 Release Date: 07/30/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Paul McCartney,  Freddie Mercury,  Colin Mawby  ... 
    Performer:  Ronan Browne
    Conductor:  Nick Ingman,  Mike Moran
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Celtic Tenors,  Vard Sisters,  Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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    MP3 Available
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart