Rock and roll legend born in Vernon

April 23rd, 1936

On this day in 1936, rock and roll singer Roy Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas. He grew up in Wink, and while attending Wink High School he formed a country music group called the Wink Westerners. Later, while attending North Texas State College, he transformed the Wink Westerners into his first rock and roll band, the Teen Kings. The group played throughout West Texas and recorded "Ooby Dooby," which brought him to the attention of the Sun record label in Memphis. Orbison rerecorded "Ooby Dooby" for Sun, and in 1956 it became his first chart hit. In 1959 Orbison joined the small Monument label in Nashville, for which he recorded a string of international hit records, including "Only the Lonely" (1960), "Blue Angel" (1960), "Running Scared" (1961), "Blue Bayou" (1963), "It's Over" (1964), and "Oh, Pretty Woman" (1964). He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and died the following year.

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Rock and roll legend born in Vernon

April 23rd, 1936

On this day in 1936, rock and roll singer Roy Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas. He grew up in Wink, and while attending Wink High School he formed a country music group called the Wink Westerners. Later, while attending North Texas State College, he transformed the Wink Westerners into his first rock and roll band, the Teen Kings. The group played throughout West Texas and recorded "Ooby Dooby," which brought him to the attention of the Sun record label in Memphis. Orbison rerecorded "Ooby Dooby" for Sun, and in 1956 it became his first chart hit. In 1959 Orbison joined the small Monument label in Nashville, for which he recorded a string of international hit records, including "Only the Lonely" (1960), "Blue Angel" (1960), "Running Scared" (1961), "Blue Bayou" (1963), "It's Over" (1964), and "Oh, Pretty Woman" (1964). He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and died the following year.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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