Over Roy Orbison
Texas-born singer/songwriter/guitarist Roy Orbison first came to prominence with Sun Records in the 1950s, where he was typecast as a jiving Rockabilly singer with his minor hit "Ooby Dooby." That song, along with his other material for Sun, barely hinted at the melodramatic power held in his operatic tenor voice and his near-Baroque songwriting sensibility. After working as a contract songwriter in Nashville and providing the Everly Brothers with a few hit singles, he signed to Monument Records in the early 1960s; the hits came fast and furious shortly thereafter. Orbison's most popular records sported beautiful, complex melodies, yearning lyrics, lushly orchestrated production and a tangible sense of rock 'n' roll drama brought on by his soaring, high tenor voice. The hits dried up for Orbison by the '70s, and he fell off of the radar somewhat until 1988, at which point he experienced a huge career renaissance due to his involvement with the Traveling Wilburys.