Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 - December 6, 1988) was a popular singer and guitarist.
Born in Vernon in north Texas, he organized a band of teenagers and appeared regularly on radio, moving to local television. Before he was twenty-one, he was already recording for Sun Records, the home label of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
While his first Sun recording “Ooby Dooby” hit the charts in the summer of 1956, it was not until Roy Orbison moved to Monument Records that his first million selling hit, “Only The Lonely,” started his career in high gear in 1960, followed by “Blue Angel” and “I’m Hurtin’” that same year.
In 1961 “Running Scared” gave him his first #1 hit, a few months later “Crying” peaked at #2 and “Candy Man” also kept Roy on the Hit Parade. “Dream Baby,” “In Dreams,” Mean Woman Blues,” “Blue Bayou,” “Pretty Paper” and “It’s Over” each charted before “Oh Pretty Woman” gave him his second #1 hit selling an estimated seven million records plus worldwide.
Orbison had a career resurgence in the 1980s with several high-profile collaborations, including membership in the critically and commercially successful Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Tom Petty.
Grammy Award winner Roy Orbison smoked most of his life, had a triple heart bypass in 1978 and at 52 years of age suffered a fatal heart attack three weeks before Christmas, 1988.