Beatles were welcome respite, but not letter writer's favorite

Editor, the Advocate:

There's lots of hoopla involving the Beatles right now, and rightfully so. Fifty years ago Feb. 9, they debuted on the Ed Sullivan Show. Did they make an impact? Did they change a lot of what we knew then? Absolutely.

To me, they were a welcome respite from the sadness of the execution of John F. Kennedy. So many of their songs struck a chord with me. I can never go back to those days without thinking about their songs.

But I must say this - for a child of the '50s who finished high school in 1961 - the greatest impact upon this individual as far as music goes came from another artist. Yes, the Beatles finish second in my book, and even that is a compliment to their genius. But there was one singer who touched the heart and soul of this teenager and young adult more deeply than any other. Call it teen angst, call it music of sadness and soul searching, call it what you will - but his music touched this heart like no other. He came to be known as the "Big O," but where he was born - Vernon, April 23, 1936, and got his start in West Texas - the flyers advertised him as Roy Orbison.

Roy had a vocal range of three octaves - phenomenal and very rare. He toured with the Beatles in 1963. My favorite singer died far too young at age 52 of a massive heart attack Dec. 6, 1988. He had 22 top 40 hits in a six-year period (1960-66), including two No. 1 songs. Unfortunately, tragedy seemed to be a part of his life. But Roy left a legacy of heartfelt romantic and touching music that will long be enjoyed and not be forgotten.

Ray Goodwin, Victoria