"Crying" is a ballad written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson that was a hit for Orbison.

Contents[edit | edit source]

 [hide*1 Composition

Composition[edit][edit | edit source]

Dave Marsh calls the song a "rock-bolero" with "blaring strings, hammered tympani, a ghostly chorus, the gentle strum of a guitar, [and] a hint of marimba".[1] Billboard observes an "expressive reading" on the "country-flavored ballad."[2]

Release and reception[edit][edit | edit source]

The song was released as a 45rpm single by Monument Records in July 1961 and made #1 on the United States Cashbox chart for a week on October 7, 1961, although it peaked at #2 on the rival Billboard Hot 100.

In 1987, Orbison rerecorded the song as a duet with K.D. Lang as part of the soundtrack for the motion pictureHiding Out. Their collaboration won the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. The duet version was a minor US chart hit for the two, peaking at #42 on the Hot Country Singles chart,[3] though it was a more substantial hit in the UK in 1992, reaching #13 on the UK Singles Chart.

In 2002, "Crying" was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it #69 on their list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

Cover versions[edit][edit | edit source]

Live cover performances[edit][edit | edit source]

  • Carrie Underwood performed this song in the Top 3 episode of the popular singing show American Idol. Underwood later won the competition.
  • Emily Vinette performed this song in the Top 10 episode of Canadian Idol'third season. Vinette was voted off the next night. Ashley Coulter performed the song in the top 6 episode of season 4. She was also voted off the next night.
  • In the final round of season 2 of the talent show America's Got Talent, ventriloquist Terry Fator made his puppet turtle Winston perform this song while impersonating Roy Orbison. Fator received the highest number of votes and won the competition along with the one million dollar prize.
  • In 2009 "Crying" was performed by Jamie 'Afro' Archer on the UK version of The X Factor.
  • American Idol Season 12 finalist Kree Harrison performed 'Crying' during Music of the American Idols week.

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band covered the song live in May 1988, in Madison Square Garden.

Appearances in film, TV and other media[edit][edit | edit source]

  • US Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney mentioned this song among his top 10 songs of all time in March 2012.[8]
  • In 2011, "Crying" was featured in the American comedy-drama film 50/50 (2011 film).[9]
  • "Crying" was featured in an episode of Only Fools and Horses. The episode "Stage Fright" featured Raquel and a guest character Tony Angelino (played by Philip Pope) singing this song at a function. Unfortunately Tony had arhotacism, causing him to pronounce his R's incorrectly, making "Crying" sound more like "Cwying".
  • "Crying" is featured near the start of the first of the Australian telemovie trilogy Small Claims starring Rebecca Gibney and Claudia Karvan.
  • "Crying" was featured in the movie Gummo. After huffing glue, Tummler remarks that his cross-dressing brother used to sing "Crying". Tummler then proceeds to weakly sing parts of the song. The original version of the song is used during the last scenes of the movie.
  • "Llorando" was also featured during the closing scenes of Prison Break, season 3, and in a famous scene in Mulholland Drive.
  • On 2 February 2008 K.D. Lang speaking on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live program said that Roy had told her that this song was written after he had seen an ex-girlfriend at a burger stand.
  • In early 2008, "Crying" was featured in an anti-drunk-driving commercial. It is sung karaoke-style.
  • In the episode titled "1961" in Season 3, Episode 23 of Heroes, "Crying" is playing in the background, although this point in the plot is in May 1961, and the song wasn't released until July.
  • In the Sports Night episode "And the Crowd Goes Wild", Casey McCall wears sunglasses during the course of a day following an eye exam. His colleagues ridicule him for this, one of them saying, "Hit the high note in 'Crying' and I'll be impressed," in reference to Orbison and his trademark sunglasses.
  • In the Sopranos, Season 5, Episode 2 "Rat Pack", the song is playing at a diner while Tony is meeting with contractor Jack Massarone.
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