Roy Orbison was best known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country and western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis. His greatest success came with Monument Records between 1960 and 1964, when 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top Forty, including "Only the Lonely", "Crying", and "Oh, Pretty Woman".
Orbison was a natural baritone, but music scholars have suggested that he had a three- or four-octave range.The combination of Orbison's powerful, impassioned voice and complex musical arrangements led many critics to refer to his music as operatic, giving him the sobriquet "the Caruso of Rock". Many of Orbison's songs conveyed a quiet, desperate vulnerability. He was known for performing while standing still and solitary, wearing black clothes and dark sunglasses which lent an air of mystery to his persona.