He was one of the greatest singers of the 1960s and this month marks 58 years since Roy Orbison scored his first number one hit single.
Although he’s known all around the world now for hit songs including ‘Pretty Woman’, ‘In Dreams’, ‘You Got It’, ‘I Drove All Night’ and ‘Crying’, it was actually ‘Only The Lonely’ that put the American crooner on the map.
Released in 1960, the track became the first of 33 major hits for the Texan. While it only reached the number two position on the American Billboard Hot 100, it topped the charts in Australia and the United Kingdom, as well as inspiring music lovers all across the globe.
Remarkably, the track had been offered to both the Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley, although both acts turned the iconic song down. Still, Roy decided to record it and it paved the way for his musical career which inspired generations.
As amazing as the original is, Roy joined forces with K.D Lang, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello for another stunning rendition of the track. It’s just as amazing as the original.
Read more: Who inspired Roy Orbison’s biggest hit song?
Roy sadly passed away nearly 30 years ago in 1988, although he’s always remembered for his incredibly powerful voice, impressive vocal range and ability to capture audiences with his emotional songs.
This is partly why he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone also named him one of the ‘Greatest Artists of All Time’ and one of the ‘Greatest Singers of All Time’.
In 2015, decades after his death, MGM released a secret “lost” album of Roy’s that was never released.
Two of his sons had sadly passed away in a house fire and as a way of coping, Roy recorded the album in 1969, although his songs were never heard by anyone until they were found by his remaining children.
While the album was welcomed by fans of the singer, Roy had an extensive catalogue of albums that his fans have always held close to their hearts. Who could forget Laminar Flow, Cry Softly Lonely One, Orbisongs and Lonely and Blue?