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Roy Orbison

Knowledge Identifier: +Roy_Orbison

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Roy Orbison

American singer-songwriter, best known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads add

Category: Music

Born in 1936.

Countries: United States (64%), United Kingdom (17%), (4%)

Main connections: Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash

Linked to: The Rolling Stones, Odessa College, Billboard, Eagles

 

Timeline


 

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Roy Orbison was born in 1936 add something


1950

For a brief period in the late 1950s Orbison made his living at Acuff-Rose, a songwriting firm concentrating mainly on country music add something

 

Rock and roll in the 1950s was defined by a driving backbeat, heavy guitars, and lyrical themes that glorified youthful rebellion add something

 

Rock and roll itself, in its infancy in the late 1950s, was stalled add something

 

While most men in rock and roll in the 1950s and 1960s portrayed a defiant masculinity, many of Orbison's songs instead conveyed a quiet, desperate vulnerability add something

 

Eddie Bond - In the mid 1950s, Bond recorded for Mercury Records and toured with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Warren Smith and others

 

Tennessee - Memphis is home to Sun Records, where musicians such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Charlie Rich began their recording careers, and where rock and roll took shape in the 1950s

 

Tennessee - Memphis is home to Sun Records, where musicians such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Charlie Rich began their recording careers, and where rock and roll took shape in the 1950s

 

James Burton - Since the 1950s, Burton has recorded and performed with an array of notable singers, including Bob Luman, Dale Hawkins, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, John Denver, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Claude King, Elvis Costello, Joe Osborn, Roy Orbison, Joni_Mitchell, Vince Gill, Suzi Quatro and Allen "Puddler" Harris

 

Effects unit - The 1950 Ray Butts EchoSonic amp was the first to feature the "slapback" echo sound, which quickly became popular with guitarists such as Chet Atkins, Carl Perkins, Scotty Moore, Luther Perkins, and Roy Orbison


1952

Sunglasses - Introduced in 1952, the trapezoidal lenses are wider at the top than the bottom , and were famously worn by James Dean, Roy Orbison, Elvis_Presley, Bob Marley, The Beatles and other actors and singers


1954

Bill Justis - He returned home to Memphis, Tennessee in 1954 and was eventually taken on by Sam Phillips at Sun Records where he recorded music for himself as well as arranged the music for Sun artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny_Cash and Charlie Rich

 

Dick Penner - Members of the Wink Westerners Roy Orbison, Richard Roy "Head" West , and Billy Pat "Spider" Ellis graduated from Wink High School in June 1954


1955

Johnny Cash toured the area in 1955, playing on the same local radio show as the Teen Kings and suggested that Orbison approach Sam Phillips at Sun Records, home of rockabilly stars including Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Cash add something


1956

Phillips was impressed and offered the Teen Kings a contract in 1956 add something

 

Buddy Knox - After they performed on the same 1956 radio show as fellow Texan Roy Orbison and his "Teen Kings" band, Orbison suggested Knox go see record producer Norman Petty at his studio in Clovis, New Mexico, the same studio where Buddy Holly recorded several of his early hits, including "That'll Be the Day"

 

Dick Penner - On 27 March 1956, a Roy Orbison session was set at 706 Union Avenue


1957

Orbison sold "Claudette", a song he wrote about Frady, whom he married in 1957, to The Everly Brothers and it appeared on the B-side of their smash hit "All I Have To Do Is Dream" add something

 

Warren Smith (singer) - In 1957, Smith recorded "So Long, I'm Gone", a song written by Roy Orbison, and it did become Smith's biggest hit at Sun, peaking at No. 74 nationally


1958

However, frustrated at Sun, Orbison gradually stopped recording, toured music circuits around Texas to make a living, and for seven months in 1958 quit performing completely add something

 

Songwriter Joe Melson, an acquaintance of Orbison's, tapped on his car window one day in Texas in 1958 and the two decided to try to write some songs together add something


1959

What'd I Say - Cliff Richard, Eric Clapton with John May 1959 all & the Bluesbreakers, the Big Three, Eddie Cochran, Bobby Darin, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Nancy Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Roy Orbison, Johnny_Cash and June 1959 Carter, and The Ronettes all put their own style on the song


1960

He had a collection worthy of a museum by the late 1960s add something

 

He had no publicist in the early 1960s, no presence in fan magazines, and his single sleeves did not feature his picture add something

 

He had suffered from duodenal ulcers as far back as 1960, and had been a chain smoker since adolescence add something

 

His dark and brooding persona, combined with his tremulous voice in lovelorn ballads marketed to teenagers, helped Orbison corner the pop market in the early 1960s add something

 

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" add something

 

In the 1960s, Orbison refused to splice edits of songs together, and insisted in recording them in single takes with all the instruments and singers together add something

 

Influenced by contemporaneous hits such as "Come Back to Me " and "Come Softly to Me", Orbison and Melson wrote a song in early 1960 which, using elements from "Uptown" employed strings and the Anita Kerr doo-wop backup singers add something

 

Orbison admitted that he did not think his voice was put to appropriate use until "Only the Lonely" in 1960, when it was able, in his words, to allow its "flowering" add something

 

"Oh, Pretty Woman" proved the pinnacle of Orbison's career in the 1960s add something

 

Ken Mansfield - Since the 1960s, Mansfield has been associated with an array of notable performers including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Waylon Jennings, James Taylor, Roy Orbison, Don_Ho, the Imperials, Tompall Glaser, Harry Nilsson, Glen Campbell, Buck Owens, Lou Rawls, Andy Williams, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Eric Burdon, Badfinger, Ray Stevens, Jackie Lomax, The Four Freshmen, Judy Garland, Dolly Parton, David Cassidy, Nick Gilder, Claudine Longet and Jessi Colter


1961

"Crying" followed in July 1961 and reached number 2; it was coupled with an R&B up-tempo song titled "Candy Man" written by Fred Neil and Beverley Ross, which reached the "Billboard" Top 30, staying on the charts for two months add something


1962

After leaving his thick eyeglasses on an airplane in 1962 or 1963, Orbison was forced to wear his prescription sunglasses on stage and found that he preferred them add something

 

Orbison's second son was born in 1962, and Orbison hit number 4 in the U.S. and number 2 in the UK with "Dream Baby ", an upbeat song written by country songwriter Cindy Walker add something

 

Bobby Goldsboro - He played guitar for Roy Orbison from 1962 to 1964 while releasing a few unsuccessful singles


1963

Their friends and relatives attributed it to her youth and that she was unable to withstand being alone and bored; when Orbison toured England again in the fall of 1963, she joined him add something

 

Touring in 1963 took a toll on Orbison's personal life add something

 

As "In Dreams" was released in April 1963, Orbison was asked to replace guitarist Duane Eddy on a tour of the UK in top billing, with The Beatles, whose popularity was on the rise add something

 

Orbison's success was greater in Britain; as "Billboard" magazine noted, "In a 68-week period that began on August 8, 1963, Roy Orbison was the "only" American artist to have a number-one single in Britain add something

 

Claude Demetrius - In 1963, "Mean Woman Blues" was recorded again, this time by Roy Orbison on a 45rpm single that went to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 music charts and was part of Orbison's 1964 album, "More of Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits"

 

Mike Leander - Leander started his career as an arranger with Decca Records in 1963 and Bell Records in 1972 and worked with such musicians as Marianne Faithfull, Billy Fury, Marc Bolan, Joe Cocker, The Small Faces, Van Morrison, Alan Price, Peter Frampton, Keith Richards, Shirley Bassey, Lulu, Jimmy Page, Roy Orbison, Brian Jones and Gene Pitney

 

Danny Thompson - Victoria has been Thompson's sole instrument for the majority of his career, aside from three tours playing bass guitar for Roy Orbison in 1963


1964

He was astonished to find he was as popular there as he had been in 1964; he was forced to stay in his hotel room because he was mobbed on the streets of Sofia add something

 

He did it twice, with 'It's Over' on June 25, 1964, and 'Oh, Pretty Woman' on October 8, 1964 add something

 

He and Claudette divorced in November 1964 over her infidelities, though they remarried in August 1965 add something

 

Joan Freeman - In 1964 she was the love interest of Elvis Presley in "Roustabout" and in 1967 with Roy Orbison in "The Fastest Guitar Alive"


1965

His youngest son with Claudette was raised by Orbison's parents; Orbison and Barbara had a son in 1970 and another in 1974 add something

 

While on tour again in the UK in 1965, Orbison broke his foot falling off a motorcycle in front of thousands of screaming fans at a race track, and performed his show that evening in a cast add something

 

Ronnie Burns (singer) - In January 1965, they supported The Rolling Stones and Roy Orbison on their first Australian tour


1966

However, tragedy struck on June 6, 1966, when Orbison and Claudette were riding home from Bristol, Tennessee , Tennessee add something


1967

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Other cuts on the "Cosmo's Factory" album included an eleven-minute jam of the 1967 and 1968 R&B hit "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" and a nearly note-for-note homage to Roy Orbison's "Ooby Dooby


1968

During a tour of the Midlands in England on September 16, 1968, he received the news that his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, had burned down and his two eldest sons had died add something


1969

On March 25, 1969, Orbison married German teenager Barbara Jakobs, whom he had met several days before his sons' deaths add something

 

Dan Folger - There, under Don Gant, Folger wrote songs for Acuff-Rose Music including the song "Amy", which appeared on the 1969 album, " Roy Orbison's Many Moods"


1970

Author Peter Lehman suggests that had he died in the 1970s when his career was in the doldrums, it might have earned a minor mention in the obituary section of the newspaper add something

 

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 add something

 

Orbison recorded in the 1970s, but his albums performed so poorly that he began to doubt his talents add something

 

Orbison's severe stage fright was particularly noticeable in the 1970s and early 1980s add something

 

Harold Bradley - Harold enjoyed frequent work as a session musician into the 1970s, performing on hundreds of albums by country stars such as Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Elvis_Presley and Slim Whitman


1977

A compilation LP of Orbison's greatest hits went to number 1 in the UK in 1977 add something

 

Ronstadt herself covered "Blue Bayou" in 1977, her version reaching number 3 on the "Billboard" charts and remaining in the charts for 24 weeks add something


1978

On 18 January 1978 Orbison underwent a triple heart bypass add something


1980

Don McLean covered "Crying" in 1980 in a version which hit number 5 in the U.S. and stayed on the charts for 15 weeks; it was number 1 in the UK for three weeks add something

 

Music critic Ken Emerson writes that the "apocalyptic romanticism" in Orbison's music was well-crafted for the films his songs appeared in in the 1980s because the music was "so over-the-top that dreams become delusions, and self-pity paranoia", striking "a postmodern nerve" add something

 

Stephanie Winslow - In 1980 her cover version of Roy Orbison's "Crying," became Winslow's second major hit single, peaking at No. 14

 

Emmylou Harris - In 1980, Harris recorded "That Lovin' You Feelin' Again" with Roy Orbison


1985

Larry Gatlin - In 1985, Gatlin wrote the song "Indian Summer" with Barry Gibb, which he recorded as a duet with Roy Orbison


1986

Jerry Lee Lewis - Along with Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison, Jerry received a Grammy in the spoken word category for the very rare album of interviews released with some early copies of The Class of 55 album in 1986.

 

Carl Perkins - During 1986, he returned to the Sun Studio in Memphis, joining Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison on the album "Class of '55"

 

Johnny Cash - In 1986, Cash returned to Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee to team up with Roy Orbison, Jerry_Lee_Lewis, and Carl Perkins to create the album "Class of '55"


1987

In 1987, Orbison had begun collaborating with Electric Light Orchestra frontman Jeff Lynne on a new album add something

 

Orbison was initiated into the second class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 by longtime admirer Bruce Springsteen add something

 

Orbison's career was fully revived in 1987 add something

 

Billy Burnette - In 1987 he wrote "All I Can Do Is Dream You" for Roy Orbison

 

Jennifer Warnes - On September 30, 1987, at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, she contributed background vocals for Roy Orbison's star-studded television special "Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night"


1988

After attending a show in 1988, Peter Watrous of "The New York Times" wrote that Orbison's songs are "dreamlike claustrophobically intimate set pieces" add something

 

In 1988, he joined the supergroup Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne and released a new solo album add something


Roy Orbison died in 1988 add something

 

In November 1988, "Mystery Girl" was completed and "Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1" was rising up the charts add something

 

On December 6, 1988, he spent the day flying model airplanes with his sons; then, after having dinner at his mother's home in Tennessee, he died of a heart attack add something

 

George Harrison - After the death of Roy Orbison in late 1988 the group recorded as a four-piece

 

Bob Dylan - Dylan co-founded the band with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty, and in the fall of 1988 their multi-platinum "Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1" reached number three on the US album chart, featuring songs that were described as Dylan's most accessible compositions in years

 

George Harrison - Following the band's break-up, enjoyed a successful solo career, and in 1988 he co-founded the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison

 

Jeff Lynne - In 1988 Lynne worked on Roy Orbison's album "Mystery Girl" co-writing and producing Orbison's last major hit, "You Got It", plus two other tracks on that album

 

George Harrison - In 1988, Harrison played an instrumental role in forming the Traveling Wilburys with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob_Dylan, and Tom Petty when they gathered in Dylan's garage to quickly record an additional track for a projected Harrison European single release

 

Tom Petty - In 1988, Petty became a founding member of the Traveling Wilburys, along with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne


1989

In January 1989, Orbison became the first musician since Elvis Presley to have two albums in the Top Five at the same time add something

 

K.d. lang - Lang's career received a huge boost when Roy Orbison chose her to record a duet of his standard, "Crying, " a collaboration that won them the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 1989

 

Claude Demetrius - The timeless rock song was sung by him on the 1989 HBO acclaimed television special called " Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night"


1990

Chris Hillman - In 1990 they appeared at a tribute to Roy Orbison, performing "Mr. Tambourine Man" with the song's composer Bob Dylan

 

Ellis Amburn - In 1990, he produced his first biography on fellow Texan Roy Orbison that led to further such books

 

Mr. Tambourine Man - A reunited line-up of The Byrds, featuring Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, and David Crosby, performed "Mr. Tambourine Man" with Dylan at a Roy Orbison tribute concert on February 24, 1990

 

The Byrds - In the wake of this ruling, McGuinn, Crosby and Hillman dropped their lawsuit, but to demonstrate that they had not wholly surrendered The Byrds name to Clarke, the three musicians appeared under the banner of "The Original Byrds" at a Roy Orbison tribute concert on February 24, 1990, where they were joined on-stage by Bob Dylan for a rendition of "Mr. Tambourine Man"


1992

Cindi Lauper - The song was originally penned for and sung by Roy Orbison, although his version was not released until 1992, three years after Lauper's version and four years after his death.


1999

U2 frontman Bono holds Orbison as a standard in musical creativity, commenting in 1999, "The thing people don't talk about enough as far as I'm concerned is how innovative this music was, how radical in terms of its songwriting add something


2002

In 2002, "Billboard" magazine listed Orbison at number 74 in the Top 600 recording artists add something


2003

Eddie Low - "In 2003 Low toured NZ as the star of the Roy Orbison tribute show


2006

Kaela Kimura - That year, she covered Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman", which was used as the theme song of 2006 Japanese television dramas "Attention Please" starring Aya Ueto


2008

In 2008 Roy Orbison's Last Concert was released for the very first time on Cd and in 2013 the 25th Silver Anniversary of the concert was released on both Cd and Dvd. add something


2011

Captain Kirk Douglas - In honor of what would have been Roy Orbison's 75th birthday, Kirk played Orbison's signature Gibson ES-335 on Late Night, April 25, 2011


2014

In 2014, Orbison was elected to America's Pop Music Hall of Fame add something


2015

Reid Jamieson - In 2015 Reid released "The Presley Sessions Revisited", a follow up to his 50s era tribute including songs made popular by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, The Platters and The Flamingos