A strong, sinuous bass line intro was a primary consideration to win concentrated rock airplay as the British Invasion raged during the mid-'60s. Seldom was a stronger or catchier one devised than the pulsating kickoff to Roy Orbison's immortal "Oh, Pretty Woman." Pounding drums and what sounds like a 12-string acoustic guitar immediately set the tone for the Big O's biggest hit of all, Orbison navigating a chord progression unlike any the Texas native had ever introduced before. Orbison and songwriting partner Bill Dees had been inspired by the pretty sight of Orbison's wife Claudette (the namesake of the Everly Brothers' Orbison-penned 1958 hit, "Claudette"), somehow emerging with an upbeat masterpiece shot through with intense longing and more than a little frustration as Orbison virtually begs a lady passerby to be his for the night (the bold gambit succeeds in the end, but he stretches the conclusion out for maximum dramatic tension). The leering little growl that Orbison unfurled on his previous hit "Mean Woman Blues" -- rather out of character for the shy singer -- resurfaces, along with an appreciatively drawled "Mercy!" exclamation; both subsequently served as trademarks for the gifted singer. "Oh, Pretty Woman" soared to the peak of the pop charts during the late summer of 1964 for Fred Foster's Monument Records, at least temporarily wresting the top slot from the Beatles and the Animals (Manfred Mann would grab it back a few weeks later with a cover of the Exciters' "Do Wah Diddy Diddy"). The gold record was one of two chart-toppers for Orbison, 1961's "Running Scared" preceding it into the winner's circle.