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|Single by Roy Orbison|
|from the album Crying|
|Writer(s)||Roy Orbison, Joe Melson|
|Roy Orbison singles chronology|
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". Billboard observes an "expressive reading" on the "country-flavored ballad."
Release and reception
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 picture, Hiding 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, though it was a more substantial hit in the UK in 1992, reaching #13 on the UK Singles Chart.
- B. J. Thomas included the song on his 1975 album Reunion
- Del Shannon included the song in his 1964 album Handy Man.
- A version by Jay and the Americans reached #2 in the US in 1966.
- Dottie West recorded it on her 1968 album What I'm Cut Out to Be.
- Lynn Anderson recorded it for her 1968 album Big Girls Don't Cry.
- Billy Joe Royal released a version of the song.
- Don McLean covered the song in 1980, taking it to #5 on the Hot 100, #2 on Adult Contemporary, #6 Country, and #1 on the UK Singles Chart. It appears on his 1978 album Chain Lightning.
- Three other cover versions made country music charts over time. Charting with the song were Arlene Harden (#28 in 1970), Ronnie Milsap (#79 in 1976) and Stephanie Winslow (#14 in 1980).
- Gene Pitney included the song in his 1999 album Gene Pitney Sings Great Ballads.
- The brazilian duo Chitãozinho & Xororó performed an portuguese version of the song, entitled "Lágrimas" in the 1998 album "Na Aba do Meu Chapéu".
- Rebekah Del Rio performed an a cappella Spanish language version of the song, entitled "Llorando" in the 2001 David Lynch film Mulholland Drive.
- Belgian singer Dana Winner recorded a version for her 2002 album Unforgettable Too
- In 2007, Billy Gilman released it as a single.
- Clay Aiken recorded the song with Linda Eder on his 2010 album Tried and True.
- Latin sensation La India covered the song in a salsa style on her 2010 album, Unica.
- Il Divo included the song in the album Wicked Game (Il Divo album) in 2011.
- Austra recorded a version for their deluxe edition 2011 album Feel It Break.
Live cover performances
- 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's 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
- US Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney mentioned this song among his top 10 songs of all time in March 2012.
- "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 a rhotacism, 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.
- Marsh, Dave (1999). The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. Da Capo Press. pp. 75–76. ISBN 030680901X [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- "Spotlight Singles of the Week". Billboard: 27. July 31, 1961. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 305. ISBN 0-89820-177-2 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- Whitburn, p. 179
- Whitburn, p. 279
- Whitburn, p. 472
- Taubin, Amy (September–October 2001). "In Dreams", Film Comment, 37 (5), p. 51–55.
- "Mitt Romney names the greatest tunes off all time". Politico. March, 2012.
- Roy Orbison Biography. (no date). Retrieved July 19, 2006, from http://www.hotshotdigital.com/OldRock/RoyOrbisonBio.html
"Theme from MASH" by Mash
|UK number one single (Don McLean version)
21 June 1980 - 12 July 1980
"Xanadu" by Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra
by Elvis Presley
|RPM Country Tracks
number-one single (Don McLean version)
April 11-April 18, 1981
by Carroll Baker
|RPM Country Tracks
number-one single of the year (Don McLean version)
"Love Will Turn You Around"
by Kenny Rogers