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Fun Fact: Elvis said no to alumnus Orbison

Elvis Presley, the king of rock-and-roll, was born Jan. 8. 1935 in Tupelo, Miss. Graceland, the palatial Memphis home, theme park and memorial celebrates The King’s birthday with events and music, including his long list of top-selling recordings.

Elvis had an estimated 30 bestselling, number one ranked songs during his career. There were 18 on the Billboard music industry charts, plus others on separate gospel, rhythm and blues and international lists.

Roy OrbisonOne hit song of the 1960s might have been on that list, but when alumnus Roy Orbison, right, offered a new composition to Presley, he reportedly declined to record it. What was it?

A. Puppy Love

B. I Wanna Hold Your Hand

C. Only the Lonely

D. Don’t Be Cruel

The correct answer is C: Only the Lonely. Neither Presley nor the Everly Brothers agreed to record the song in 1960. So Orbison recorded it himself … and, as they say, the rest is history. Orbison applied his distinctive three-octave voice to the song, which rose to second on the Billboard industry magazine’s best seller list and became number one in the United Kingdom, where Orbison had performed with a new band known as The Beatles

Orbison was born about a year after Elvis, April 23, 1936, and died in 1988. He attended UNT in 1954. Elvis died in 1977. Both are inductees to the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame.

Orbison will be honored at the April 15 Emerald Eagle Honors event which will raise funds for scholarships The event is sponsored by the Division of Advancement.

Enter to win a UNT-branded T-shirt and spirit pack (eco-friendly shopping bag, water bottle, lapel pin) by sending an email to InHouse with “Only the Lonely” in the subject line by 5 p.m. Jan. 11. Winners will be selected at random from all responses.

Posted on: Mon 07 January 2013

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