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Orbison, Roy

Contributed his trademark vocal chords to the 1988 Traveling Wilburys album. He died shortly after the album's release in 1989.

Clinton Heylin:"Bob Dylan: Behind The Shades, a Biography"

From: (John D. Williams) Newsgroups: Subject: Roy Orbison's "Oh Mercy" Date: Mon, 02 Jun 1997 02:56:39 GMT ... Orbison was a figure of unusual talent but no clear idea how to use it. At his best (say, "Pretty Woman"), he is able to transform seemingly simple lyrics into something heartbreaking but innocent, his voice soars but his love is unrequited. Listeners hoping to find more gems like this one will be somewhat disappointed. Orbison or his producers had no clear idea how to use his voice beyond recognizing that there was something great in it. So most of Orbison's career was spending singing songs kinda in the style of Elvis, or Jerry Lee, etc. But each song will have a moment when the real Orbison stands up. If only in his growling signature phrase: Meeercie! And the standard variant: O Meeercie! When I say "signature phrase", I mean that. He didn't sing these words just once. This phrase defined Orbison. Along with this signature phrase, Orbison's other trade mark was his appearance: overstuffed with unextractable dark glasses under a funny bowl haircut. It fit his song style, ie: he would be unrecognizable if he wasn't so darn cool!! Being cool without being handsome, in the pop world of that time, was no mean feat, and it's no accident that Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi donned the Orbison disguise as their ersatz duo, the Blues Brothers. It's kind of sad and kind of nice that in a career of misfires (well, I guess no more than many, but this guy had the talent of Johnny Cash and Charlie Rich but not the career of same) that his last (?) recording on the first Wilbury's was one of his finest. I'm listening to "Not Alone Anymore" now. Already the over production of the music is dated but not Orbison. His is a beauty that hurts. (Cheers to Bob's health!)

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