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75th Birthday Year Celebration of Roy Orbison Music -- New collection released
- Categorized in: Music
Best recognized around the world for his otherworldly voice and black sunglasses. Roy Orbison was both rock & roll pioneer and prototypical singer-songwriter, beginning with his first high school band (the Wink Westerners/Teen Kings) and shifting into mass consciousness in the 1960s with a string of singles for the Monument label that defined an artist and helped launch a label.
Orbison – along with a short list that included Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins – was one of the undisputed originators and architects of rock & roll at Sam Phillips' Sun Records. Orbison cut his first chart hit (it reached #1 on the local charts), "Ooby Dooby," for Sun in 1956, staying with the label for two years before a brief stint at RCA in 1958.
To celebrate what would have been his 75th birthday (April 23, 1936), Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is celebrating with the release of Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection, a 2 CD/1 DVD set including all the A&B sides recorded by Orbison for the groundbreaking Monument label during an electrifying peak from 1960-1964. Restored to pristine mono mixes for the first time since their original 7" vinyl releases, Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection presents The Big O's core classic catalog the way it's meant to sound.
Take a listen to Roy Orbison...
Roy Orbison signed with the newly emerging independent label Monument Records in mid-1959. While his second single for Monument, "Uptown," became his biggest hit as a performer since "Ooby Dooby," it was Orbison's third single for the label, "Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel)," which announced to the world the true artistry of Roy Orbison. The song peaked #2 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, crossed over to #14 on the Billboard Black Singles chart, and rocketed up to #1 on the UK charts.
Orbison followed up the breakthrough with a pair of respectfully charting singles – "Blue Angel" (#9 Pop, #23 Black) and "I'm Hurtin'" (#27 Pop) – before knocking it out of the park with "Running Scared'," his first USA #1 Pop.
After that came an unbroken four-year string of Top 40 Hits – "Crying," "Candy Man," "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)," "Working for the Man," "Leah," "In Dreams," "Pretty Paper," "Blue Bayou," " Mean Woman Blues," "It's Over" – during which Roy Orbison became America's top-selling recording artist and one of the world's most celebrated entertainers.
Orbison played shows with Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Jimmy Page, the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Isaak, and many, many others, the man and music leaving a deep impact on them all. The monumental 1963 Roy Orbison World Tour, which featured Patsy Cline (in the weeks before her death) as a support act in the states, helped break the then-rising Beatles (Orbison fans themselves who'd recorded Roy's hit "Dream Baby" for a BBC radio broadcast in 1962) when they played support on the European leg of the tour. Orbison's profound musical and emotional influences may be heard in early Beatles singles (e.g. "Love Me Do" after "Candy Man," "Please Please Me" after "Only The Lonely," "Daytripper" after "Oh, Pretty Woman").
Roy Orbison was one of the few established hit-makers from the late 1950s and early 1960s to not only hold his ground, but to actually increase his popularity in the wake of the British Invasion. He maintained his popularity through music which displayed an extraordinary variety of themes, structure, tempo and rhythm and an authentic, emotional connection that transcended mere craft, exemplified in his signature classic, "Oh, Pretty Woman," recorded on August 1st, 1964. Written by Orbison with his new writing partner Bill Dees, "Oh, Pretty Woman" became Roy's biggest hit and is one of the most recognized and popular songs of all time. Released in August 1964 in the US and in September of that year in the UK, the song hit the #1 slot in virtually every country in the world where people had record players, selling some seven million copies that year.
When Roy Orbison died in 1988, he had two albums in the Billboard Top 5. In 1990, the Pretty Woman soundtrack topped the charts. In 2010, Roy Orbison got his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Capitol Records Building alongside John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Garth Brooks.