— Rock 'n Roll Highway 67 —
Orbison, a native of west Texas, began his musical career singing the cowboy songs of Roy Rogers and others.
He soon moved to the burgeoning rock 'n' roll scene and eventually earned the notice of Sun's Sam Phillips. Orbison signed with the label and scored an early hit with "Ooby Dooby,"
The dark glasses he wore later in his career aided his very poor eyesight. During his performing days on Rock 'n' Roll Highway 67, however, he would remove his thick glasses before taking the stage - thinking that would be more appealing to the girls in the crowd – and often had to be led to his microphone.
This presented a potentially perilous situation at the Skylark Drive-In at Pocahontas, where singers performed atop the concession stand roof. Unable to see the edge of the slippery roof, Orbison needed help
Orbison and his band, The Teen Kings, are credited with originating a dance called "The Bug.” He and other band members comically pretended to throw a bug on one of the musicians, who would dance around the stage as if the bug were crawling on them. They would throw the "bug" from one member of the band to another, to the delight of the crowd.
Although he will always be remembered for his distinctive and haunting tenor voice, Orbison was also an outstanding guitarist who was often content to back up other artists in studio recordings.
Orbison notched his biggest hits after leaving Sun Records, and its rockabilly style, in 1958. His lengthy list of chart records includes "Only the Lonely," "Dream Baby," "Crying," "Blue Bayou," and “It's Over.” He enjoyed a career resurgence in the 1980s performing with other rock legends, including the Beatles' George Harrison, in the Traveling Wilburys.
At the Skylark Drive-In between Pocahontas and Walnut Ridge, Roy Orbison nearly let his poor eyesight put him in
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment. A significant historical year for this entry is 1958.
Location. 36° 4.027′ N, 90° 57.44′ W. Marker is in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, in Lawrence County. Marker can be reached from SW Front Street south of West Elm Street, on the right when traveling south. Located at Guitar Walk near the Walnut Ridge Train Station. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 109 SW Front St, Walnut Ridge AR 72476, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jerry Lee Lewis (here, next to this marker); Wanda Jackson (here, next to this marker); Carl Perkins (a few steps from this marker); Billy Lee Riley (a few steps from this marker); Johnny Cash (a few steps from this marker); Conway Twitty (a few steps from this marker); Sonny Burgess (a few steps from this marker); When The Beatles Came to Town (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Walnut Ridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 7, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 184 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 7, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.