Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison

About Roy Orbison

Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 December 6, 1988) was an American singer-songwriter, best known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country and western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis. His greatest success came with Monument Records between 1960 and 1964, when 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top Forty, including 'Only the Lonely', 'Crying', and 'Oh, Pretty Woman'. His career stagnated through the 1970s, but several covers of his songs and the use of 'In Dreams' in David Lynch's Blue Velvet revived his career in the 1980s. In 1988, he joined the supergroup Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne and also released a new solo album. He died of a heart attack in December that year, at the zenith of his resurgence.

Contributions by Ted Wilkes, 209.105.200.52, and 209.105.200.20.