Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison



Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer-songwriter known for his distinctive, impassioned voice, complex song structures, and dark emotional ballads. The combination led many critics to describe his music as operatic, nicknaming him "the Caruso of Rock"[1] and "the Big O." Between 1960 and 1966, 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top 40, including "Only the Lonely" (1960), "Crying" (1961), "In Dreams" (1963), and "Oh, Pretty Woman" (1964).

Born in Texas, Orbison began singing in a rockabilly and country and western band in high school. He was signed by Sam Phillips, Sun Records in 1956, but his greatest success came with Monument Records in the early 1960s. While most male rock and roll performers in the 1950s and 1960s projected a defiant masculinity, many of Orbison's songs instead conveyed a quiet, almost desperate, vulnerability. His voice ranged from baritone to tenor, and music scholars have suggested that he had a three- or four-octave range.[2] During performances, he was known for standing still and solitary, and for wearing black clothes, to match his jet black hair and dark sunglasses, which lent an air of mystery to his persona.

From the late 1960s to late 1970s, Orbison was marred by a number of personal tragedies while his record sales declined. He experienced a resurgence in popularity through the success of several cover versions of his songs and the use of his 1963 song "In Dreams" in David Lynch's film Blue Velvet (1986) and his hit "Oh, Pretty Woman" as the title track to film Pretty Woman in 1990. In 1988, he co-founded the Traveling Wilburys supergroup with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne. Orbison recorded his last solo album, Mystery Girl, the same year but died of a heart attack shortly thereafter.

His honors include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in the same year, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989. Rolling Stone placed him at number 37 on their list of the "Greatest Artists of All Time" and number 13 on their list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time'.[3] In 2002, Billboard magazine listed Orbison at number 74 in the Top 600 recording artists.[4]



A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison & the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison & the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is an album by musical artist Roy Orbison, released on November 3, 2017.
Black & White Night 30
Black & White Night 30 is an album by musical artist Roy Orbison, released on February 24, 2017.
Blue Velvet
Blue Velvet is a 1986 American neo-noir mystery film, written and directed by David Lynch.
Traveling Wilburys

Photos - Roy Orbison311

Popular Albums64

Album Appearances & References29

Popular Songs11

Popular Live Albums3

Song Appearances & References14

Musical Groups2

Musical Group References2


Minor Film Appearances & References5

TV Shows2

Collaborators & Influencers34

Other Music-Related Relationships37

Personal & Professional Relationships2

Commercial & Non-Profit Relationships1

Awards & Nominations4

Famous Relatives1

You May Also Be Interested In45


Spotify - Albums & Singles237


Spotify - Appears On20


Spotify - Top Tracks10


News Articles8

Roy Orbison concert hologram plan nixed by late singer's sons
  –  November 22, 2017
“It's Over” for a company that planned to produce a concert featuring a Roy Orbison hologram, the late singer's sons say in court papers. The five children of the legendary “Pretty Woman” crooner known as “The Big O” inked a deal with the ...
Roy Orbison’s sons sue over hologram debacle
  –  November 22, 2017
The sons of late singer-songwriter Roy Orbison are suing a Los Angeles entertainment company for failing to bring their dad back to life — in the form of a holograph image. The “Oh Pretty Woman” rocker’s children, who manage his estate, hired ...
The story of Joe Melson and Roy Orbison: part 3
  –  December 13, 2017
"That's gotta be Roy Orbison," Melson muttered under his breath ... Orbison was impressed and began letting go of his rockabilly roots. "I tried to get Roy familiar with a different style, with more classical phrasing," Melson says.
The story of Joe Melson and Roy Orbison: part 3
  –  December 13, 2017
"That's gotta be Roy Orbison," Melson muttered under his breath ... "After I met Roy, I thought we'd make it," Melson says now of his chance to launch a career in the music business. In those days, it was Melson who was making money with his music ...
Roy Orbison: The return of The Big O
  –  December 9, 2017
He was really groovin' out…" The youngest of Roy Orbison's three sons, Alex had just turned 13 when his dad died of a heart attack in 1988, aged 52. For most of his adult life, he has tried to keep his dad's music alive for people. His latest project is ...
Roy Orbison: The Hologram Tour a box office hit
  –  December 7, 2017
Roy Orbison with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, released globally by Sony Music early last month. That album has proven to be a huge seller in the UK where it debuted at #2 on the national album chart and debuted at #8 in Australia. The dates in ...
Roy Orbison In Dreams The Hologram Tour Announced
  –  October 24, 2017
Roy Orbison is the latest late music legend who will be performing for a new generation of fans via hologram when the In Dreams The Hologram Tour of the UK launches next spring. The special 10-date tour across the UK will feature the hologram of Orbison ...
Roy Orbison’s Sons Share Never-Before-Seen Photos and Stories in Their New Book
  –  October 17, 2017
The youngest of Roy’s Boys, 42-year-old Alex Orbison, musician, writer, producer and president of Still Working Music publishing company, recently talked to Parade about the book, the Roy Orbison movie in the works and what almost happened to the footage ...

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