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Rock Rewind: Roy Orbison

If early rocker Roy Orbison were still with us, he would be 66 years old today.

That’s right: April 23 is Roy Orbison’s birthday.

Hailing from west Texas, Orbison was technically a baritone singer, but he was well known for his vocal range, which may have exceeded 4 octaves. (You’ll here some of his signature high notes in the videos below.) He became very popular in the early 1960s, then after experiencing a career lull and a number of personal tragedies, came back full force in the mid 1980s before his untimely death in 1988. His music is still some of the most widely recognized in the world.

In honor of Roy Orbison’s birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this edition of Pop Rewind to featuring some of his best songs.

The video below of “Oh, Pretty Woman” is from the film Roy Orbison & Friends: A Black and White Night, and features an all-star musical cast. You’ll likely see a number of familiar faces in this one, including “The Boss”, Jackson Browne and Elvis Costello, among others.

“You Got It” is one of Orbison’s last singles, from Mystery Girl (completed just before his death). The video here is a little sketchy, but the audio is great.

Here’s one of my personal favorite songs by Roy Orbison. This live version of “Crying” is taken from his television show from the 1960s.

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About the Author


Tim Ferrar's interest in pop and rock started as a child, listening to Top-40 radio for hours on end while playing air guitar in his bedroom. Eventually air guitar led to electric guitar, and Tim began playing in bands and writing his own songs. With an admitted weakness for "a great hook or a great guitar riff," Tim's musical tastes are broad and varied, ranging from Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga on the pop side to Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters on the rock side- making him the ideal guy to cover our Rock and Pop categories. By day, Tim is a mild-mannered accountant in Chicago. By night, he rocks out on electric guitar in a cover band in various clubs around town- much to the surprise of some of his clients.

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