There are a couple of male voices that just get me every time and they couldn't really be more different. There is the masterful velvet vocals of one William Smokey Robinson and there is the man described by Elvis as "Quite simply, the greatest singer in the world, Roy Orbison". With his quavering operatic voice and melodramatic narratives of unrequited love and yearning The Big O's three-octave voice put him in a class by himself.
Orbison's voice and incomparable songwriting were pivotal, as well as unmatched, in the development of rock and roll.
I first became aware of Orbison in the late 80's when he starred in the HBO cable special, A Black and White Night with any number of famous musicians lining up to sing along side him including Elvis Costello and Springsteen. The show was a huge triumph and brought Orbison to a whole new audience.
Of all the artists who passed through the doors of Sam Phillips's Sun label in the 1950s, Roy Orbison must have seemed the least likely to succeed but succeed he did.
What a truly magnificent voice he had. The man could sing and then some.