- WTF was wrong with his eyes -- I never heard say?\
Nice voice I guess.
- Someone once described his voice as "operatic". I found it almost mystical and enigmatic in quality. He was amazing.
- I think he was blind R1
- I saw him in concert once, very staid performer. Jerry Lee Lewis came out after him and tore the place up.
- I never liked the way he looked at me. Like I wasn''t even there.
- He had the voice of a castrato. Truly beautiful.
- OMG, Op, that is the worst clip of Roy. He is singing flat. I have never heard him that bad. But usually great. Love, love him.
- He wasn''t blind, he just liked wearing sunglasses.
- I''m actually becoming a fan of oldies. This group is really good. My parents remember this group and this old dude sounds really good.
- His voice wasn''t operatic or angelic. It was idiosyncratic and weird - he hit the notes but couldn''t hold them consistently, had vibrato issues, and you never knew what he was going to do. He had a clear timbre with a slight nasality, which made him sound a bit whiny.\
But that''s why his vocals held such interest. He had a kind of vulnerable authority that was part geek and part psycho. "Pretty Woman" is quite creepy when you listen to it as if for the first time.
- Neil Diamond for the oldsters? Check out %0D\
Forever in Blue Jeans.
- "After leaving his thick eyeglasses on an airplane in 1962 or 1963, Orbison was forced to wear his Ray-Ban Wayfarer prescription sunglasses on stage and found that he preferred them. His biographers suggest that although he had a good sense of humor and was never morose, Orbison was very shy and suffered from severe stage fright; wearing sunglasses helped him hide somewhat from the attention."
- Roy''s wonderful voice always reminded me that I should pull out some old Glenn Yarbrough, who''s voice makes me want my fantasy singing gay daddy, Dudley Saunders.
- Some people like him wrapped in cling-film. I''m shocked this site is still up over a decade later.
- His voice sent from God, if that sort of thing can happen, while at the same time his life was filled with terrible tragedy. %0D\
Had he grown up elsewhere, likely he would have been singled out at a young age, undergone intense voice training and become one of the greatest operatic talents of his time.
- It''s pretty amazing that he was never morose, R12. His house burned down when he wasn''t there and two of his sons burned to death. I think of that whenever I hear him. BTW, I love his voice. He and Andrea Bocelli, who unlike Orbison is blind, bring tears to my eyes every time.
- Me too, R16 . Silly, I know, but when I used to wait for "me," I''d almost get chicken skin when in Running Scared he finished with, I imagined, "He turned around and walked away with me!"
- Worst wig in the business.
- My favorite Roy Orbison song is "Leah." Not one of his best known, but it showcases his marvelous voice.
- I can''t believe you posted this, op!!! I was just going through youtube the other day, listening to Roy O. songs.%0D\
Three of my favorites are, "I Drove All Night," "Crying," and "Anything You Want."%0D\
He had such an ease when he sang songs, and he could hit those high notes like nobody else could. KD Lang sang "Crying," and she could barely reach the high notes. Roy sang them with no problem.%0D\
This is why people say that music today sucks. You just can''t find REAL artists like Roy Orbison anymore.
- Roy Orbison, "Crying."
- Last one: "You Got It."%0D\
Oh, and after watching that video of "Crying," I think it''s clear that Roy was greatly influenced by the Mexican Mariachi bands, especially since he grew up in Texas.%0D\
If you listen to his singing style and guitar playing, it''s very reminiscent of a mariachi band.
- [quote]His voice wasn''t operatic or angelic. It was idiosyncratic and weird - he hit the notes but couldn''t hold them consistently, had vibrato issues, and you never knew what he was going to do. He had a clear timbre with a slight nasality, which made him sound a bit whiny.\
I''m a fan of Orbison''s music, but I agree with everything you said except for the vibrato issues. I can''t imagine anyone saying his voice was "operatic".
- Great voice, great singer. \
You know, the old hillbilly singers really had it. If you like Roy, try John Prine. And other Kentucky Bluegrass musicians.
- Are you all deaf? Orbison sang flatter than an aging Sinatra. He was dreadful.
- R25, while he certainly hit some awful, AWFUL notes, he didn''t sing flat. His voice was weak in overtones, which could make him sound flat. (The same was true of Sinatra, in fact.)
- R14, that is one of the weirdest things I''ve ever seen. Yet, it''s fascinating.
- Yeah, thanks for posting, r14. Roy Orbison wrapped up in clingfilm is a pretty niche fetish. I am completely charmed by how the guy writes his turtle into every story. Just a man, a turtle, and the man''s very specific fantasy about Roy Orbison.
- In today''s music business, they would Autotune the hell outta Roy''s vocals. Sad. All those "flaws" are what gave his voice so much character and uniqueness.
- Roy Orbison is one of my favourites and i'm pretty young.
There is this dreaming sensation and quality in his songs and in his voice.
- I saw a performance when he was very old, nothing to look at, just an old guy standing playing guitar, but that VOICE! incredible.
- Haunting voice. Amazing.
- His song "Claudette" was written for his wife. They had some trouble in their marriage, divorced and then remarried. They were both riding home on motorcycles one night in 1966 when Claudette was hit by a semi-trailer and died instantly.
His two eldest sons died in a house fire when Orbison was on tour in the UK in 1968.
He married a German teenager in 1969. She died at age 60 or 61, depending on the source, of pancreatic cancer in 2011. .
- [quote] I saw a performance when he was very old
Lol, he died at 52.
- IS that German teenager the same widow that was featured on Selling New York? I liked her sad if she has died.
- Claudette was killed while riding from Bristol, TN to Hendersonville, TN, just a few blocks from their home.
Orbison's sons died at their home in Hendersonville, TN.
Orbison was at his mother's home in Hendersonville, TN when he died.
Hendersonville was not very good to Roy Orbison.
- I really like this song from his last album which was posthumously released. It was a hit in the UK but I feel like it doesn't get the attention it deserves in America. I give you, Mystery Girl.
- Elvis called Orbison the greatest singer in the world with the most perfect voice. So there!
- Wow, thanks for that, r37.
- A Love So Beautiful, Leah, Pretty Woman, Crying, Lana, Blue Angel, You Got It, That Lovin' You Feelin' Again, She's a Mystery To Me ... love so many of his songs and I can't stand Elvis.
- He changed music, more specifically song writing.
Up until him, it had been verse, verse, chorus, break / solo, verse chorus chorus.
He blew hat shit up. He threw verses all around and even ended on a verse.
His voice was captivating - sweet and creepy at the same time, like a pedophile ice cream truck driver. There's a yearning in his voice tinged with perversity. It is quite alluring.
I wish there were drawings / illustrations to go along with the Roy in Cling Film series.
- God, i love Roy Orbison too. He was so special, so beautifully and dreamingly sentimental when he was singing. He still stands out. What a voice! Time won't erase that touching voice and the warmth of his feeling. It's magic.
- I wonder what The Travelling Wilburys would have accomplished had he (and George Harrison) lived?
I worship Jeff Lynne: I like everything he's ever done. He's a cool mix of whimsical and masculine. A magical little he-elf.
- Amazing voice.
- His grave is unmarked. His wife dithered for years about the headstone, but then she died too.
- He had a one of a kind voice. I've never anybody with a voice like that. It was really something special.
- He's no Bonnie Franklin.
- Everybody should own at least one Roy Orbison album.
It would make the difference in your lives. This guy was really a singer, not trash like a lot of singers are today.
- And ffs he was not blind. That was a misconception!
- His voice was hauntingly beautiful. Dreams and Roy Orbison are intertwined.
- This generation has a kid named Noah Guthrie. He posts on YouTube and people steal his arrangements (which are brilliant.)
- The monumental music of Roy Orbison
- HOW COULD ANYONE FORGET ROY ORBISON?
I PITY THE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT YET FAMILIAR WITH HIM
- It's not that his voice was operatic but as someone got close to saying, his songs were compared to little mini-operas.
But his voice was so natural and unique. He barely opened his mouth and it came pouring out.
Oh - and I'll never look at "cling-wrap" in the same way.
- Roy Orbison offered his first big hit song "Only the Lonely" (1960) originally to Elvis Presley, but unfortunately all the material for Presley`s next album had already been chosen. Elvis had previously covered Roy`s tune "Mean Woman Blues" in his 1957 film "Loving You"
First saw Elvis Presley in concert in 1955. Next year Presley was in his concert and entered in backstage. Orbison kept telling about Elvis` visit to his friends.
Both he and his friend Elvis Presley suffered a heart attack in their bathrooms. Orbison was hospitalized but died.
- Roy could hit E above high C which is the peak that opera great Caruso was famous for. This ethereal climb of voice became Roy's trademark and first appeared on 1961's Running Scared, his first number one hit.
- He really is an icon.
All things considered though, it was a short career ...he was great and then suddenly he was washed-up by the mid-sixties.
- This song is entitled "So Young" and was featured in the movie "Zabriskie Point", which is a location in Death Valley.
- In September 1968, someething terrible happened that made Roy cancel part of his UK tour. He was on tour in England, when he received the news that his house in Hendersonville, Tennessee had burned down, and 2 of his 3 sons had perished in the fire. The youngest son, Wesley, was rescued from the fire, by Roy’s parents.
His house burned down. Roy's father, Orbie Lee, had fallen asleep and two of Roy's three children were playing in the basement. Orbie Lee was awakened by the sound of an explosion and rushed to the basement. He grabbed the baby and led the older two children, Tony and Roy Jnr, up the stairs and to the front door. At that moment a huge explosion from petrol (gasoline) cans in the basement killed both Tony and Roy Junior.
As already one of you wrote that was not the only tragedy that happened in his life. Two years before the fire that killed his two sons, Roy lost his beloved wife, Claudette.
His first wife, Claudette, died in a 1966 motorcycle accident. From research, it seems that Roy and Claudette were on separate bikes, and her motorcycle crashed into a truck, that unexpectedly pulled in front of her. She died an hour or so later from multiple injuries. (Earlier he had written the Everly Brothers’ hit, Claudette, about his wife.) After her death, he found it difficult to write for quite awhile. To deal with his grief, he immersed himself in concert engagements.
Well, as one can easily imagine losing his wife and then his two kids was a terrible blow against him, but tragedy kept on finding him. In 1973, his older brother, Grady, was killed in an auto accident, while on his way to spend Thanksgiving with Roy.
The amazing thing about Roy Orbison is, that even though he suffered horrendous tragic events in his life, he overcame so many of them, and gave a gift to the world. That gift was his voice, and we should be forever grateful. Elvis Presley called him, “the greatest singer in the world.”
- During these years, he continued to tour worldwide, and married his second wife, Barbara, in 1968. She was a of German descent, and later became his manager.
In 1978, he collapsed while running up some bleachers, and as a result, discovered that he needed coronary bypass surgery.
He was offered an opening slot on the Eagles 1980 tour, and later released a duet, “That Loving You Feeling Again”, with Emmylou Harris. Several famous singing stars including Linda Ronstadt, Don McClean, and Van Halen covered his songs, and re-releases of his own songs made him popular in the U. S. again, as a concert performer. In 1987, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That same year he also recorded a duet remake, with k.d. lang, of his hit Crying.
In the late 80s, he achieved notoriety as a member of the Traveling Wilburys, with band members Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne.
Orbison was on the brink of an amazing comeback, when he died suddenly of a massive heart attack, at the age of 52. While visiting his mom, in the Nashville area, he complained of chest pains, and was rushed to the hospital, where he died that night, December 6, 1988.
The release of his album, Mystery Girl (#5 on the charts-1989), after his death, became the highest charting album of his career, reaching platinum.
- Roy and Claudette were building a home back in Hendersonville, but while he was out on the road, she began an affair with their contractor. Their marriage was on the rocks. One morning in 1964, Roy Orbison was sitting in the kitchen working with his songwriting partner Bill Dees when Claudette came in and said she was going to go into town to buy something. Orbison asked if she needed any money, and Dees cracked, “Pretty woman never needs any money.” Orbison started singing, “Pretty woman walking down the street.” Dees: “He sang it while I was banging my hand down on the table. By the time she got back from shopping, we had the song.”
'Oh, Pretty Woman’ was almost Orbison’s last hit before his personal life became unraveled. In 1965, Claudette discovered he was cheating on her, and they were divorced. In 1966, they remarried. On June 6, Roy and Claudette were riding their motorcyles when a truck pulled out in front of her. She died in his arms an hour later, aged 25.
- Roy’s close friend and neighbor Johnny Cash bought the lot from him. Here’s Johnny Cash talking about Roy Orbison (“He was so meek and so shy, but he could really stand and deliver”)
Over the next 20 years, Roy had his ups and downs. He remarried a German teenager he met a couple of days before the fire, and they had two sons together.
In the photo below, Roy with his wife young Barbara
- Roy had a passion for vintage cars and would stop a driver of a car he liked in the street and offer to buy it. If the owner refused he would simply increase the offer until the owner agreed. He collected a great number of vintage and historical cars; several were destroyed in the fire that killed two of his sons.
- “Only the Lonely” was a big childhood influence on Bruce Springsteen. The Jersey boy would pay homage in 1988 by performing with his childhood hero on the TV special Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night.
Springsteen would famously induct Orbison into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In that speech, he shared his goals for the album on which this song appears, Born to Run:
'In 1975, when I went into the studio to record, Born To Run, I wanted to make a record with words like Bob Dylan, that sounded like Phil Spector’s productions, but most of all I wanted to sing like Roy Orbison. Now, everybody knows that nobody sings like Roy Orbison'
- Best male singer ever, or at least very up there with the likes of Marvin.
With the fetish for musician biopics it's a wonder one hasn't been done for his life, lots in that.
- Some say that Roy started wearing his trademark dark glasses because he'd lost the spectacles that compensated for his shortsightedness. But what reason did Roy give in interviews? To shade his eyes from the sun. On Roy's first UK tour he stepped from the 'plane and into bright sunlight. He put sunglasses on and forgot to put his spectacles in his pocket, so he wore the sunglasses to prevent the glare of the stage lights hurting his eyes throughout the UK tour.
- I think he's still dead.
- R65, i value your opinion cause you are so goddamn right! Roy Orbison was and still is one of the best male singers ever! There are not really as many singers who can really make the difference with their voice. Not really! Roy was one of them. A true gem.
Another interesting fact about Orbison is that he
always wore black whenever on stage. However,
Roy was so impressed by the white jumpsuit worn by Elvis that he had a similar set of clothes made and wore them on stage during 1977.
- R67, hush bad rat!
Roy Orbison quotes:
'I may be a living legend but that sure don't help when I've got to change a flat tyre.'
"People often ask me how would I like to be remembered and I answer that I would simply like to be remembered."
"I was frustrated as a singer for a long time, particularly when some friendly rivalry broke out between me and a young guy in Texas named Buddy Holly, who, within a couple of months, had a couple of Number One singles and soon had stardom that reached to the Moon. I tried not to take it too hard but when Only the Lonely happened in 1960 I reckoned it was about time too. I was an avid follower of the charts. I lived by them until Only the Lonely - and then I didn`t look at them anymore."
Interview: Mrs Roy Orbison
It is 20 years since the death of Roy Orbison, once described by Elvis Presley as the world's greatest singer. SIMON WILSON spoke to his widow Barbara Orbison about the man behind the trademark shades...
- Anyone remember The Mavericks? Raul Malo's voice often reminded me of Roy's. I saw them in the early 90s and his voice was mesmerizing.
Never understood how they didn't become a huge country act.
Here's a cover of Crying. He also does a haunting Blue Moon.
Their original stuuf was great throwback country not too different from roys stuff. Music For All Occasions is a good one.
- I love listening to Roy's "Blue Bayou." It takes me to another place and time, and with that unique voice of his filled with longing, I get a little misty-eyed (I know -- MARY!).
- And who can forget the finale of Season 3 of "Mad Men" with Roy's "Shahdaroba" closing out the turbulent season.
- R71, The Mavericks, yes! You are right,i can certainly see that Roy Orbison had a big influence on them, especially in their song 'I Should Have Been True'
Nice observation :)
R72, you have an excellent taste. Actually, 'Blue Bayou' is one of the most beautiful songs of Orbison.
I know what you mean...
- R73, thanks for posting this lovely song. Omg, how melodic and beautiful it is! It's so nostalgic.
- Can't believe no one has posted his "It's Over" yet. Chills. Every time.
- R76, yes, what heartfelt song.
Guys, i think i got carried away. Each song of Roy you sent is so unique. I must stop saying that all the time! Enjoy your music moments, embrace your feelings, feel what you need to feel...
In Dreams...and so on i hope...
- The Big O.
- Roy Orbison - "Wild Hearts Run Out Of Time"
- 'A Love So Beautiful'
- 'Sleepy Hollow'(1965)
One of Roy's most beautiful recordings. B-side of "(Say) You're My Girl".
- From 'The Fattest Guitar Alive'. Roy starred in this movie in 1967. It is the only feature film that he is in.
- * The Fastest Guitar Alive
- Elvis starred in the Fattest Guitar Alive
And then he died
- R84! Be goooooood!
- Roy Orbison has a lot of fun (1970)
- Do any of you know his song from the Less Than Zero soundtrack? Life Fades Away. Beautiful...
- Yes, i know this song R87. Beautiful indeed.
Roy Orbison was so unique.
- Was Roy and his stiff stage presence the inspiration for Belushi's rock singer who always ended up being carried offstage on a dolly?
- This 2CD collection of Roy Orbison songs made me dream deep sweet dreams...with his unique, melodic, characteristic voice.
- R89 i have no idea sweetie.
- Very one note.
- Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley
MY HEART IS FULL!
- Tom Petty called Roy Orbison "probably the greatest singer in the world."
- Roy Orbison - Mean Woman Blues, live 1965, Sweden.
- Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash perform Pretty Woman
- Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman (from Black & White Night).
ale background vocalists, some of whom also joined in on guitar, were Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, Lyle Lovett, and Steven Soles. The female background vocalists were k.d. lang, Jennifer Warnes, and Bonnie Raitt.
- Beautiful Dreamer
- 'A Mansion on the Hill'
Melodies that speak to the soul by Mr Roy Orbison's wonderful voice
- Roy Orbison - Go, Go, Go (Down The Line)
A Black & White Night is arguably the liveliest live show captured on film. Roy and his friends had less than a week to rehearse, but the result is almost magic in the enjoyment of performers and audience alike. The quality of direct sound is superb. B&W film is perfect in recreating an atmosphere of the early 60s, when Roy appeared as the complete artist he was: writer, composer, guitar and harmonica player - not to mention an operatic voice few can dream to match. I never met someone from any age who's not thrilled when shown this performance.
- Roy Orbison 'Working For The Man'!!!!
Roy singing "Not Alone" with "The Traveling Wilburys"--Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison & Jeff Lynne.
- Beautiful song R102!
- All the songs posted in here are actually beautiful. So was Roy's voice. Divine!