Anniversary of Roy Orbison's Death

(Gibson) On this day in 1988, rock and roll legend Roy Orbison died of a heart attack at age 52. Gibson takes a look back: A few days before his death on this day in 1988, Roy Orbison was asked in an interview about his legacy. And his answer was simple: "I just like to be rememberedů" In fact, he has been. More than 20 years after his death, Orbison still is one of the icons of his generation, among superstars like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Some people will remember him for "Oh, Pretty Woman," the song that made history and was part of one of the most recognized soundtracks ever (Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, 1990). Even some rock fans will associate that song with Van Halen's version that became their second Top 20 pop hit in 1982. Later, Orbison cited that version as one of his favorites.

But his legacy goes beyond that one hit. Roy Orbison wrote "Oh, Pretty Woman" in 1964, and it was his sixth smash song in the early '60s. Orbison's first hit was "Only the Lonely," which reached #2 in 1960. Later, he got a series of hits that included "Running Scared" (#31, 1961), "Crying" (#2, 1961), "Dream Baby" (#4, 1962) and "In Dreams" (#7, 1963). He was successful not only in the U.S. but in England, where he toured with The Beatles. more on this story

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