Roy Orbison was a popular singer-songwriter and was known for his musicianship and powerful voice. He was born in Texas in 1936 and sang with a country band throughout high school.
Roy was at the apex of his career in the mid 1960s. He had a recording contract with Monument Records and 22 of his songs charted on the Billboard Top Forty, including Crying.
Orbison had a singing range of three to four octaves and he sang with great passion. The musical arrangements were almost always complex and classical in style.
In concert, Orbison seemed almost mysterious. He always wore black clothing and dark glasses. He always stood stock-still and by himself on stage. Orbison said of his motionless performances that his songs did not fit any moving and dancing. Orbison commented about his stage presence, saying:
I’m not a super personality—on stage or off. I mean, you could put workers like Chubby Checker or Bobby Rydell in second-rate shows and they’d still shine through, but not me. I’d have to be prepared. People come to hear my music, my songs. That’s what I have to give them.
Roy died of a heart attack in December of 1988 after spending a full day with his family. He was 52 and his death was a shock. After his death, Roy received many accolades. On Rolling Stone’s list of The Greatest Artists of All Time, Orbison is placed at #37 and is #13 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In Billboard Magazine, Orbison was listed as #74 in the Top 600 recording artists.
Have you ever seen Orbison in concert? It must have been an amazing time.
On October 14, 2010, Clay Aiken performed Crying with Casey Thompson as part of his WTTW – Chicago Benefit concert. The following video shows not only the great performance by the two of them, but the relaxed friendship that Casey and Clay seem to have. Enjoy!