The late Roy Orbison was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during an unveiling ceremony on Jan. 29. Located in front of the historic Capitol Records building in Los Angeles, Roy’s star is positioned next to the stars of his great friends George Harrison and John Lennon. His wife, Barbara Orbison accepted the award on behalf of Roy, with sons Wesley, Roy Jr. and Alex. Special guests included Traveling Wilburys bandmate Jeff Lynne, Dan Akroyd, Joe Walsh, David Lynch, T-Bone Burnett, Phil Everly, Chris Isaak, Dwight Yoakam, Jason Mraz, Olivia Harrison and many others.
Orbison grew up in the tiny Wink, Texas, and by the time he was 21 he was loved around the world for his soaring 5 octave voice. He recorded for Sun Records, becoming part of the label’s artist roster. During his tenure on Nashville-based Monument Records, he recorded his first string of hits including as “Only the Lonely,” “Blue Bayou,” and “Oh Pretty Woman.” These were among his first songs to top the charts, and Orbison is one of the very few artists to have been accepted by the world in all forms of popular music, and to have won Grammys in pop, rock and roll and country categories.
In 1987 Roy was Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bruce Springsteen, who subsequently joined an all star ensemble for Roy and friends’ Black & White Night (featuring Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, Tom Waits, Jennifer Warnes).
On December 6, 1988 the world lost Roy Orbison, but the legacy of his music lives on. Roy was the only artist (other than Elvis) to have two simultaneous posthumously-charting Top 5 albums with his mega-hit “You Got It” (written with Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty) off of Roy’s solo release Mystery Girl (a collaboration with Bono); and The Traveling Wilburys (including bandmates Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty) . Both of these releases also won him two Grammys. In 1991, two years after his death, he won the Grammy for Best Male Vocalist, for his performance of “Pretty Woman” from the concert Black & White Night.