Billboard #1 Hits: #52- “Running Scared”- Roy Orbison. June 5, 1961- #1 for 1 week. Released on Monument Records. Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson. Genre: Pop. Time: 2:10. B:Side: “Love Hurts” Grade: A+
In looking over the list of 21 singles which went to #1 in 1961- there are some outstanding ones- “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”- The Shirelles, “Travelin’ Man’- Ricky Nelson”Runaway”- Del Shannon, “Quarter To Three”- Gary U.S. Bonds, “Hit The Road Jack”- Ray Charles “Runaround Sue”-Dion and “Please Mr. Postman”- The Marvelettes and others- but I think I’d rank “Running Scared” as my favorite #1 from that year. Was there an odder looking pop/rock star?Has there ever been a pop/rock star with a voice like Roy’s?”Running Scared” was the first of two #1’s in his career- the other coming in 1964 “Oh, Pretty Woman.” In the early 60’s up to the coming of The Beatles and The British Invasion- Roy Orbison may have been producing the best music of anyone during that time.
While many of Orbison’s songs sounded bleak- this one had a happy ending. “Running Scared” peaked at #1 on the US Billboard Chart- and #7 in the UK where he was very popular- The Beatles were big fans. “Running Scared” would be the last song that Roy Orbison sang in concert- on December 4, 1988 just two days before his sudden passing from a heart attack at the age of 52. Roy Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.