Wednesday, December 10, 2008


(Used with permission)
December 7, 2008

Photo By Special to Record Publishing Co.
Bill Dees, seated, and Wesley Orbison play during a Jan 25 concert at Arizona State University.  The college honored Roy Orbison with a three-day tribute in which he was posthumously given a Career Achievement Award. A group of Roy Orbison fans, including Hudson resident Marty Erbaugh, gather annually in December to celebrate his career.

by Tim TroglenReporter
 -- Twenty years ago, a man from Vernon, Texas, brought his trademark straight black hair, dark glasses and hauntingly melodious voice to Ohio's Front Row Theater.
A few days later, the world mourned as that man, Roy Orbison, died at his home in Tennessee.
A year later, two men, Marty Erbaugh from Hudson and David Shoenfelt of Akron, got together and formed a group of Roy Orbison fans which have met every year since -- including this weekend in Akron.

Erbaugh said his love of the legendary singer's music began in 1965 when the band he performed with opened for Orbison at a concert near Cincinnati.
"We opened for several bands that have become very famous," Erbaugh said.
However, Erbaugh said he had never seen Orbison perform live until 1965.
"He was very unassuming, but approachable," Erbaugh said. "And he was shy."
From then on, Erbaugh, who is a private investor and sits on the board of trustees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, said he was hooked.
When Orbison came to Ohio 1988, Shoenfelt, a professional photographer and Orbison fan, was there to capture the images, not knowing this would be the Orbison's last concert.
Shoenfelt said he "connected" to Orbison's music the first time he heard it.
"I was the only one in my family who liked him," Shoenfelt said.
After the concert, Shoenfelt put an add in Rolling Stone magazine's tribute edition to Orbison, advertising the selling of the pictures.
"I responded to his ad, found out he was in Akron and said 'let's get together,'" Erbaugh remembered.

He said the pair talked about their love for Orbison's music and discussed the possibility of getting together with other fans. Their first gathering was in 1989.
According to Shoenfelt, fans from all over the world continued to contact him to buy the pictures.
"I kept track of all the people and talked to Marty," Shoenfelt said. "He said, 'Wouldn't it be cool if a few of us got together and listened to Roy and talked?' We did, and that was 20 years ago."
Erbaugh said two people from the West Coast and other fans from Alabama and Maine attended the first gathering.
"There were about 10 people, and we thoroughly enjoyed the time," Erbaugh said.
He said word spread, and now members come from as far away as Australia, England and Holland.

Shoenfelt said the group, which meets in private homes, has grown from two to more than 100.
"I've never met a Roy Orbison fan I didn't like," he said. "His music attracts a certain style of personality."
The gatherings are not open to the public. Group members bring Orbison memorabilia and discuss their favorites songs, memories and thoughts on his music and life, Erbaugh said.
Erbaugh said he owns the original acetate recordings of several or Orbison's songs, and members of the group have an entire collection of original Orbison studio sessions.
Over the years, members of the Orbison family have gotten involved, including Wesley Orbison, who is a regular attendee to the annual get together in Akron and Hudson.
Wesley is the son of Roy Orbison and his first wife, Claudette. She was killed in motorcycle accident in 1966.

"It took Wesley about four or five years to get used to our group," Shoenfelt said.
Shoenfelt said the group "never really worked to be something."
"But we always enjoyed ourselves and always come back," he said.
Erbaugh said the group continues to grow and meet because the music of Orbison "never grows old."
Another attendee is Bill Dees, co-writer on 67 of Orbison's songs, including "Pretty Woman." Shoenfelt said Wesley, who also toured with country legend Johnny Cash, and Dees are "best friends" and sometimes perform together.
"I love this," Dees said of the get-together to honor his friend. "Roy Orbison fans are like family."

Dees, who said Orbison had a great influence on him, added it is "amazing that anyone would do something like this for anyone."
He said the pair worked on 10 songs together the year Orbison died.
"He was a wonderful friend and the kindest, most patient man -- most of the time," Dees laughed.
Dees said he believes his friend and writing partner, who he also shared a deep faith in God with, has "passed from death and into eternal life."
And he also said Orbison would have been pleased by the group's efforts to honor him. Dees said Orbison used to tell him "I'd just like to be remembered."

(*Thank you so much, Tim Troglen)
(*Thank you so much, Barb)
    * It seems that at least some of the media agree with “Roy to the World”. I was a wonderful time, friends, Wesley Orbison, Bill Dees remembering ROY make the sad time, enjoyable.  Wesley is such a nice young man and he is so comfortable with us now........very special * -Barb.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


On his new album Dion remembers his musical heroes
* By Leslie Gray Streeter
Palm Beach Post

September 26, 2008

There are no Gene Simmons songs on Dion DiMucci's new album. But he did influence it, kind of.

"I was talking to a friend of mine, a record collector, and I asked "Do you know who Gene Vincent is?'" recalls the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, doo-wop legend and Boca Raton legend. "He said 'Did he sing with KISS?'"
The fact that anyone would confuse Gene Vincent, the rock pioneer of Be-Bop-A-Lula fame and Gene Simmons, of demonic face paint fame, was enough to send DiMucci on a crusade to turn the spotlight on the long-neglected architects of early rock - his contemporaries.
"I got the feeling that people were looking at the '50s like this (creatively) light era," says Dion, whose newest album, Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock (Saguaro Road Records) comes out Tuesday. It finds him putting his own spin on the music of Vincent, Ricky Nelson, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Roy Orbison and others.

"Les Paul guitars were invented in the '50s. Fender guitars were invented in the '50s. Grunge was invented in the '50s, really, with Link Wray," he says. "And then there were all these great guitar players that flew under the radar. I thought 'Let me put it together under one umbrella.' It was definitely a labor of love."
The Bronx native and long-time Palm Beach County resident recently expounded on his musical crusade. And how not taking that fateful flight almost 50 years ago, the one that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper and was immortalized as "the day the music died" on Don McLean's American Pie, helped shaped his faith.

Question: The thing that strikes me is that while many artists do tribute albums, it is interesting to see it done by a contemporary of those artists.
Answer: A lot of those songs, I heard four times a day. I did shows with these people, like with Buddy Holly and the Winter Dance Party (tour), I heard Rave On all the time. I lived with those songs, in a sense. It's been 50 years, coming up, that Buddy and Ritchie (Valens) died in that plane crash in 1959. That must be working up something in my system. Most of the guys (whose songs are covered) on the album are gone. The only ones that are left are the Everly Brothers and Chuck Berry.
Q: And you want people to know how beautiful it was, musically.
A: I see the '50s jammed, choked, with important artists. It's the only (era) that giants walked the earth, between the '50s and early '60s. The first thing was Chuck Berry, and the second thing was the Beatles. Then everything is kind of a spin-off, if you know what I mean, as far as rock and roll goes.
Q: What kind of response have you gotten from this project?
A: Yesterday, I spent a half-hour with Conan O'Brien - a friend of mine knows him. I didn't know how into the music he was. He was very aware of Eddie Cochran, and the sense of humor that he had - "I'm gonna take two weeks, gonna have a fun vacation/Gonna take my problem to the U-nited Nations/ Well, I called my congressman and he said 'Quote: I'd like to help you, son, but you're too young to vote.'" (Laughs) That's pretty cool for the '50s.
You know, Conan has a lot of beautiful guitars. He's a collector. He knows Rave On inside and out. He opens his show with it.
Q: He does?
A: Before the taping starts, he goes out there with guitars and plays all this stuff. I didn't know it, either. He's very bright about all that music.
Q: In some cases, you picked songs other than the ones the artists are primarily known for, like with Chuck Berry and Del Shannon.
A: There are some songs I loved so much that I just couldn't stay away from them, like (Johnny Cash's) I Walk The Line. That song's so different. It changes key five times. For Del Shannon, I was gonna do Hats Off To Larry, but with Runaway, I thought there might be somebody who hasn't heard it. Everybody in the world has done that song, but in the end it was hard not to do it. I traveled with Del, and that's such a great song.
And I was gonna do (Ritchie Valens') La Bamba, but I thought "I'm gonna ruin the Spanish," so I did Come On, Let's Go instead. And that Ricky Nelson song, Believe What You Say, is a great song. It was originally done by the Johnny Burnette Trio. Johnny died in a boating accident in 1964. But with him and his guitar player, Paul Burlinson, you can hear the beginning of rock and roll. They wrote that song and sent it to Ricky, and with (guitarist) James Burton behind him, you got a classic. There was so much history in one song, I couldn't stay away.
Q: So this is a musical history lesson.
A: Rolling Stone magazine started in 1967, and they sometimes seem to think that rock started with the Beatles. And it started to get on my nerves, to be honest. That's why I called the last album Son Of Skip James, because (the early Delta blues guitarist) was the father of it all. At my age, I wanna champion the cause and get those names out there. Even black people today, they think B.B. King is singing white music. They don't know the roots of a lot of stuff.
Q: On the DVD (that comes with the CD), when you're explaining the stories behind the songs, you seem to be having a ball.
A: Man, we rocked out!
Q: You told two very personal stories, about your relationship with Roy Orbison and about how you were nearly on the plane crash in 1959 that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.
A: Roy had that very soft-spoken way about him. He was a very tall, very easy guy to be around. He was a Southerner... he wasn't a New Yorker! (Laughs) Sometimes we can be kind of energetic. But Roy had that warmth - Europeans are like that, too. I don't know the word... kind of laid back? Not pushing or pulling. He was a very warm gentleman. Carl Perkins was like that, too, an easy guy to be around, and very generous. He would show you chords on the guitar, and was so open, a very front porch kind of a guy.
Q: Do you mind talking about the plane crash? (DiMucci, who was on the Winter Dance Party, opted not to pay for a seat on the rented plane that was taking Holly and others from Clear Lake, Iowa, to Fargo, N.D., because they'd tired of the freezing tour bus.)
A: No. You know, at 19, I was baffled. I was shocked. My wife was standing right there (when the news came), because she was my girl at the time. When I got back to the Bronx, she said I was in shock for three weeks. You think about what happened to me.
Q: So what do you do with that at 19?
A: It made me go deeper about what life is about, who I am, what it's all about - all those questions. Here I am, 19 years old, feeling like I'm on a field trip with all these guys. I'm on the bus and we're just playing. It was just wonderful for two weeks. I wish I'd had a tape recorder going on that bus. And when it's ripped out from under you, all of a sudden you're alone. Waylon Jennings and I became lifelong friends after that. He was the bass player. He was supposed to be on the plane.
Q: You're very open about your faith. Did having that experience have any influence on that quest for meaning and, ultimately, your faith?
A: I think it did. It made me ask questions I probably wouldn't have asked. If you don't ask questions, you don't get answers. You get stuck. People just get stuck in life, living with these false belief systems. I could see it, everything that your mind is thinking that isn't true. It can tell you all of this (stuff) - "I'm ugly. I'm not good enough."
Q: So ultimately, you want to make sure that these guys, and this era, aren't forgotten. Does it ever make you angry to think that it could be?
A: It's a funny thing. I'm one of the only guys - and I don't even know how, to this day - but I'm not angry. I don't feel self-righteous. That blinds you from seeing stuff more accurately, if you're seeing them through a net of resentment. A lot of the early rockers have a lot of resentment, with (losing out) on publishing royalties and things like that. In my case, I kind of put everything to rest. I don't know... I see the era as a beautiful time for me.

Dion, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, talks about the songs on his new album, Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock.

1. "Summertime Blues", Eddie Cochran: "It's got a real sophisticated sense of humor, that one."
2. "Come On, Let's Go," Ritchie Valens: "It's got just a kind of 17-year-old, total passion about it, a Latin passion."
3. "Rave On," Buddy Holly: "Just the title! Come on! 'Rave On!' It's awesome!"
4. "Believe What You Say," Ricky Nelson: "That's me. That's my story. It's what I believe."
5. "Bye Bye Love," The Everly Brothers: "It's a happy sad song. Or a sad happy song. I don't know which... How would you put that?"
6. "Be-Bop-A-Lula," Gene Vincent: "Oh...(Chuckles) Was that one written about a hooker? (Cracks up) I don't know. But I wore that record out."
7. "Runaway," Del Shannon: "It's a classic. I love that song because of the changes. It goes from minor to major, and there were few songs in the '50s that did that. It's beautiful, with four movements to it, four distinct parts - the verse, the lead up to the falsetto, the falsetto and the instrumental."
8. "Jailhouse Rock," Elvis Presley: "It's a classic rock song, and the words are awesome. Who wrote that? Leiber and Stoller, right? Come on! In the verses , I almost feel like a rapper. It's in the rhythm."
9. "I Walk The Line," Johnny Cash: "It's about leaning into your relationship, not leaning out of it. This is such a different song."
10. "Blue Suede Shoes," Carl Perkins: "That's another song I wore out. It's the total feel of it. When I was a kid and heard that song, dime after dime went into the jukebox. God knows what I spent on that."
11. "Who Do You Love," Bo Diddley: "He was a genius, a back road country poet. He was actually fashioning his own guitars, electronically. The guy was way, way ahead of his time. He was such a beast! He just embraced the rawest and most futuristic sound I ever heard. He was another beautiful guy, very easy to get along with. He was sweet, like 'Come on in, I'll cook you something!'"
12. "Sweet Little Rock and Roller," Chuck Berry: "Chuck is a dynamo. He could get in your face. But I love him. I just go, 'Go, Chuck!' I think this song is not the most done of the Chuck Berry songs, so I went a little outside on that (choice). It's pure Chuck Berry."
13. "Dream Baby," Roy Orbison: "It's one of my favorite Roy Orbison songs. I added a bridge to it, that had never been done. It really is on the border between fantasy and reality, like a dreamy quality."14. "Shake, Rattle and Roll," Big Joe Turner/Bill Haley and The Comets: "There are two versions, and the one I liked was Big Joe Turner, because it was the first one I heard. I never really cared for the Bill Haley version, to be honest with you. It's a little rinky-dink compared."
15. "The Wanderer," Dion: "It's there because of my wife. She said 'If you don't put one of your songs on there, I'm gonna kick your a—.' I said 'No, it's about my heroes, not about me,' but she said 'You really belong there.' It's my signature song. I think I did a good version of it, after all these years."
- Leslie Gray Streeter
(*Thank you so much, Barb!)

Monday, July 21, 2008


by Ronnie Lyon
I arrived at the Travelodge in Anaheim (corner of Ball and Harbor behind Disneyland) at around 5:00 or 6:00 PM. It was still daylight. The hotel manager said Roy would be down in few minutes or so. Roy and his road manager, who also played percussion in the touring band, came out soon after. I had the limo door open and after the usual niceties, the three of us sped off to the venue located a few miles away.
I knew the Celebrity Theater from a couple of shows I'd gone to. It had the revolving stage in the middle, and held five or six hundred people. I pulled the limo around to the artists’ entrance where some security guys whisked Roy into the building. I parked the limo across the street and got the interior squared away. About a half hour later I went to the same backstage door and the security guys let me in. I hadn't driven around a lot of musicians nor had I had much success getting backstage passes in my life, but I knew the routine. Shut up and make friends with whoever was in control.

 Inside, I cruised down the long, wide hallway, walking straight toward the doors that opened to the concert area. At the end of the large hallway, another big hallway opened up to my left. That's where you could see people milling about in front of the dressing rooms drinking and carrying on. Beyond the twenty or thirty people there, at the other end of that hallway, was the Green Room. That was where all the food and drink was. As I was standing there, taking it all in, I noticed a group of six or seven people standing in a small circle in front of one of the dressing rooms. They were chatting and drinking quite innocently. Then one of them cracked a joke and took a step back to light his cigarette. I noticed it was Tom Petty. I said to the security guy I was standing next to "Whoaaa! Dude! Check it out!" Looking a little closer, I saw that the group included Jeff Lynne, George Harrison and three fine looking women. Needless to say I was thrilled to see three of the greatest rock musicians standing not more than forty feet from me. I was a big fan of ELO, the Beatles and the Heartbreakers.
Showtime was approaching so I nonchalantly meandered down the hallway and stood with my heals to the wall just a few feet behind the group. I was within arms length of George Harrison. I tried not to look too conspicuous, but when you're wearing a black pinstripe suit backstage, it's not hard to miss the limo driver. George actually looked over his shoulder at me and nodded, kind of like "'s it going". It was unbelievable!
Shortly thereafter, Roy came out of his dressing room with his wife Barbara and their son, and followed his band mates out the stage door for the show. He played hit after hit. Hearing his voice live was incredible. He was killing it. I came to appreciate instantly what others had known for decades. This man was a true artist and an American treasure.
During the encore,before he came off stage, all the VIPs went back to the backstage area near the dressing rooms. Being the wallflower that I am, I again planted myself close to George, Tom, Jeff and the others. By this time George had taken over the conversation. He told a story of a time back in 1963 when the Beatles were on tour with Roy in northern England. When Roy finally emerged backstage, George broke away from the others, took a few steps, got down on two knees and began to bow his praises. Roy, who was approaching from the other end of the hall, laughed, and then he and George hugged each other.
I hung around awhile, soaking it all up, watching as everyone backstage congratulated Roy on a great show. Soon after, his wife Barbara told me that he would be leaving soon and asked if could I get the limo ready to take him back to the hotel.
As I left the building, I noticed a few dozen fans had gathered outside the artists' entrance. Security had them roped off and an aisle to the curb had been cleared. I brought the limo around and parked it at the curb. I had planned to get out, walk around and open the door for Roy, as is customary. As I stepped out from behind the wheel, the security guards said they would get it and I should be ready to pull away. Just as I got back in the driver's seat, Roy came out the backstage door to a big cheer from the fans.
I realized that the situation could turn out dangerous if I didn’t get him away clean. I wasn’t bonded or registered to carry a weapon for protection, as are most drivers who ferry around celebrities. I instantly became nervous realizing this was the real thing. I would be responsible to get him clear of the venue and back to motel safely. I waited for security to get him to the limo, and then we sped off for the hotel. I noticed a couple of cars were following us so I made a couple moves in traffic to lose them. On our way back to the motel, Roy asked if I could stop and get some cigarettes for him. I pulled into a nearby 7-11, and locked the limo doors as I went in. When I came out, I opened the door and handed him the cigarettes. He offered to pay me but I said they were on me. Luckily, nobody had followed us and I just wanted to get back to the hotel ASAP.
We got back to the Travelodge within a few minutes. I walked him inside and through the lobby. The hotel restaurant cook and several others shouted out to the famous guest as we walked to the elevator. He pushed the button on the elevator and I said to him what a memorable evening it was and that I was honored to meet him. We shook hands. The elevator door opened, he went in, turned around and said thanks for the ride. The door closed shut and off I went.
The bill had been paid beforehand and I didn’t get a tip. I didn’t even care.
Roy died eight months later on December 6.
Not long after, Rolling Stone did an entire issue paying tribute to Roy. One article had quotes from people who knew him and had worked with him. Tom Petty wrote a paragraph in the article where he described the night all the Wilburys (except Dylan) had gone to that show in Anaheim to ask him about joining the group full time. The Wilburys had already cut "Handle with Care" at Bob Dylan's recording studio in the Hollywood Hills. George, Tom, Jeff and their wives had all come down to Anaheim to see his show and ask him to join the group full time, finish the rest of the album and maybe do a tour.
I think I still have that issue somewhere. I kept it because I knew I had seen a piece of rock history happen before my eyes. It is the highlight story from the years I drove limos. 
One night, years later I heard Tom Petty on the radio. He was doing an interview on Rockline. I thought about calling in to remind him of that night, but the interview was half over and I didn't think I'd get through. I’d love to hear his memories of that night. I know l’ll never forget it.

Roy Orbison and Friends at the Celebrity Theater, April 1988

Monday, June 2, 2008

Vivid Memories Of 'The Big O', Batley Variety And The Black Horse

         *Musicians who played alongside international legendary singer Roy Orbison had no difficulty in deciding where to stay when they were organising a reunion in Yorkshire.
Over 30 years ago when the entertainer, affectionately known as 'The Big O', was on the bill at Batley Variety Club he and his band always stayed at the Black Horse at Clifton.
And when his former bassist and personal representative Terry Widlake decided it was time for the musicians, along with a number of Roy's most ardent fans to meet up again, the only place to stay was back at the popular Clifton inn.

"We all have good memories of coming here and we always loved it when we were appearing in Yorkshire," said Terry, who is now based in Nashville, Texas, but is originally from Birmingham.

He said there were about seven of them who were in the band - all pensioners now - and it was about 35 years since they were all last together.
"We have kept in touch via email and chatting on the phone but this is the first time we have all met up," said Terry. "Other people who joined us were faithful fans of Roy who became good friends."
Another member of the band was Alan James, who played lead guitar and he now lives in Naples, Florida.

"The evening gave us the chance to catch up on old times and reminisce," said Terry. "Only one person brought along an instrument, a trombone, but we didn't get round to playing any music. It was just good to have a chat and enjoy being back at Clifton."
During Roy Orbison's appearances at Batley he was often top of the bill and in the early 70s he recorded 'Penny Arcade', a song written by Yorkshireman Sammy King. The star, who died in 1988, was also well known for numbers such as 'Only the Lonely', 'Oh Pretty Woman' and 'Crying'.

When the musicians were staying at the Black Horse in the 70s it was run by Mrs Pat Hubbard and her then husband, the late Chris North.
Roy Orbison was among a host of celebrities who used to stay there including Lulu, Danny La Rue, Joe Brown and George Hamilton IV.
The pub is now run by Mrs Hubbard's daughter Jane Russell and her husband Andrew and they were delighted when the group of around 18 chose the Black Horse for their reunion.
"It was a private party and also included Roy's son, Roy Orbison junior," said Jane. "My mum had the chance to meet them and enjoyed sharing memories."

Pat, who still keeps herself involved at the pub by filling hanging baskets, pots and tubs for the summer months, said she really enjoyed meeting the musicians.

"When Roy used to stay here his son was only a little boy. He's in his mid 30s now. He was a lively little boy, always hurtling around and he had fond memories of the Great Dane we had then, Wellington," she said. "It was lovely to see him as an adult".*
Members of Roy's band with Roy's son, Roy Orbison Jr.
Brighouse Today, June 2, 2008
(Thank you so much, Barb!)

Weatherford Resident Talks About Life With His Rock 'N’ Roll Dad

Wes Orbison, right, is interviewed by Dave Cowley for a radio show. (Photo by Terry Evans)

Wes Orbison talked about inspirations behind his father’s music, and Dave Cowley recorded it.
Preparing a program acknowledging the anniversary of Roy Orbison’s death, Cowley interviewed the songwriter’s oldest son. The Weatherford resident’s stories are interwoven with his dad’s music on a two-hour tape. Cowley said it should air at 6 p.m. this Saturday on KYQX 89.5 FM, if it isn’t pre-empted by a Lady Roos state-championship softball tournament.
Roy Orbison died of a heart attack Dec. 6, 1988, at his mother’s home in Hendersonville, Tenn.
"This year is the 20th anniversary of Dad’s passing," Wes Orbison said. "They recently released the Essential Roy Orbison CD that is a career-spanning compilation of about 30 or so songs. It starts with the early years at Sun Records and goes through the Monument and MGM years all the way to his last deal with Virgin Records. On that CD is the song I wrote for him, The Only One."
Orbison, who settled in Weatherford in 2006, told Cowley that his mother, Claudette, was the inspiration for Pretty Woman, one of his dad’s biggest hits. He said the song was born when his dad was sitting in their living room with fellow songwriter Bill Dees.
"She came through wanting to go shopping and asked Dad for money," he said. "Bill Dees said 'a pretty woman shouldn’t need money.’ Then he said 'Wouldn’t that make a good song title?’
"Dad said 'I don’t know about that, but Pretty Woman sure would.’ By the time she got back from the store they had the song written for her."
The song inspired a box office-smash movie starring Julia Roberts and Richard Geer. But the movie didn’t impress Orbison’s grandmother.
"My little grandmother was sitting with me when it came on the TV, and I said we had to watch it because dad’s song was in it," he said. "Just a few minutes into it she was looking for the remote. She said 'I don’t want to watch this ’cause they’re making that girl out to be a prostitute.’ She knew the song was about my mother, and she didn’t like what the movie did with the character."
But Claudette Orbison, who died in a 1966 motorcycle accident, also was the inspiration for Claudette. The song was a blip on Roy Orbison’s hit list, but became a huge hit for the Everly Brothers, Cowley said.
Losing his mom was the first of tragedies that marked Wes Orbison’s early life.
"Two years later we had a house fire that killed my two older brothers," he said. "It was a custom-built home, and the front doors opened to the inside. That was an obstacle when the house was burning."
Orbison said his grandparents were taking care of him and his brothers while their dad was on tour. Trying to escape the fire, the five of them "got in a tug of war with the door and couldn’t get it open."
Ultimately, the doors exploded open, Orbison said.
"When it did, it blew me and my grandmother and grandfather, holding me in his arms, into the front yard. My two older brothers, Roy Dewayne and Tony, were thrown back into the house. They didn’t make it out."
Orbison said that, despite tragedies, he has many good memories from his early life as well.
For instance, Johnny Cash bought a house across the street from his grandparents’ home, and became one of Wes Orbison’s inspirations.
"Growing up in Hendersonville was terrific," he said. "Next to the house was a game reserve that had every kind of animal you could name."
In school, Orbison said classmates openly wondered what his family was like, but misunderstood who his father was.
"They’d say 'Isn’t your dad that country music star?’" he said. "I’d have to pause and say he never had a hit country record at that time. We didn’t go to the football games as father and son, didn’t do the things around town that others did. Some people figured he thought he was too good. It wasn’t that; he was just always on tour."
On his memories surrounding the song Crying, Orbison said he hadn’t been asked about that a lot in the dozens of interviews he’s done about his dad.
"I remember him saying that it wasn’t cool to wear sunglasses at night and also not cool for a man to cry," he said. "But he got away with both of those. I also remember an interview he did when he said that the song was from a true experience."
But the Roy Orbison song that probably is his son’s favorite is Working for the Man.
"I really like that one," he said. "He wrote it about his dad, Orby Lee, a foreman in an oil field. Dad went out on the job with him for a day, and I think they caught him napping under the water tower. Needless to say he wasn’t cut out for that work."
The nut didn’t fall far from the pecan tree. Wes Orbison is still writing songs, and stays active in the industry by playing bass with "an old rock and roll band called Stage 3. We’re going to play in Wink, Texas, where Dad went to high school. We’ll play the third week in June for Roy Orbison Day there. Our guitar player, Sonny Bachman, booked that gig because he thought it would be cool."
Orbison said he has mixed emotions about the gig.
"It’s all fine and good to have a father who’s an icon," he said. "But it would have been nice just to have Dad with me at times, too."
Orbison said it’s gratifying when people tell him what his dad’s music meant to them.
"It’s easy to relate to because I listened to all those albums faithfully while I was growing up," he said. "Then he recorded a song of mine and established me as a songwriter. The Only One went on the Mystery Girl album in 1988, the year he died."
Orbison said the timing of his dad’s death was ironic.
"He had just told me he was going to spend a whole week with me for the first time in my life," he said. "He died that night."
Terry Evans
Weatherford Telegram, May. 28, 2008
(Thank you so much, Barb!)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Michael Jackson / Roy Orbison added to registry

WASHINGTON - May 14, 2008
Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album is considered important enough to keep for all time.
It's among the 25 recordings added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry, which preserves recorded works that are considered culturally or historically important.
This year's additions include "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison and "The Tracks of My Tears" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.
Joni Mitchell's "For the Roses" album has been added, as has the original cast recording of "My Fair Lady."
The recordings aren't all music.
Others that have been added this year include the first Trans-Atlantic broadcast from 1925, Harry Truman's speech to the 1948 Democratic Convention and the "Sounds of Earth" disc prepared for the Voyager spacecraft in 1977.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Two copies of my "fan-books" "Roy Orbison - Remembrance, Part One & Two" in Serbian language, with some drawings, exposed into The Roy Orbison Museum, Wink, TX. With my hard work with translation, typewriting, copying, literary treatement, artistic edition, book-binder's work... it is just a part of my love and gratefulness to this man and his touching music.

The Roy Orbison Museum, Wink,TX,USA
 DEDICATED TO ROY ORBISON *Apr.23,1936 Vernon, TX,USA - Dec.06,1988 Hendersonville,TN,USA    

I am his devoted fan.
Roy Orbison is definitely one of the biggest stars of the Rock & Roll era. But, sadly, about half the songs recorded by one of the greatest recording artists of the 20th century have never been released. Will they ever be heard?
Enjoy his songs and other music -mostly country and especially ballads - from my site, be happy and well, always.
Remember ROY ORBISON, his work and beautiful music!

 Roy Orbison: "I'm sure we had to study composition or something like that at school, and they'd say 'This is the way you do it,' and that's the way I would have done it, so being blessed again with not knowing what was wrong or what was right, I went on my own way....So the structure sometimes has the chorus at the end of the song, and sometimes there is no chorus, it just goes...But that's always after the fact--as I'm writing, it all sounds natural and in sequence to me."

BIRTH NAME: Roy Kelton Orbison
Former occupations: gas company employee.
EDUCATION: Grade School--Schools in Vernon, Fort Worth, and Wink, TX .
High School--Wink High School (from 1950-1954) .
College--North Texas State University (1954) College--Odessa Junior College (Texas) (from 1955-1956).

CAREER MILESTONES: 1946--received first payment for singing when he tied for first place in a talent contest with a traveling talent show .
1948--sang on West Texas radio stations .
1948--performed on a weekly radio show on KERB in Kermit .
1949--organized his first band, "The Wink Westerners" .
1956--first recorded single "Ooby Dooby" ("Tryin' To Get To You" B-side) on Je-Wel records .
1956--auditioned with band The Teen Kings for Sam Phillips of Sun Records .
1956--signed contract with Sun Records .
1956--performed at Memphis' Overton Park Shell on June 1 along with Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Warren Smith and Eddie Bond; Elvis Presley was in the audience .
1956--"Ooby Dooby" (re-recorded at Sun) made the national pop charts at #59 .
1957--Everly Brothers recorded Orbison's "Claudette" (released in 1958) .
1957--signed staff writer contract with Acuff-Rose in Nashville .
1958--signed recording contract with RCA Records in Nashville .
1959--moved to Nashville .
1959--signed recording contract with Monument Records in Nashville .
1960--first major cut "Only the Lonely"; was a #1 hit in Britain and a #2 hit in America; sold 2 million copies .
1960--first appearance on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" .
1961--first #1 hit "Running Scared" .
1962--first album to make the charts, "Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits" .
1964--"Oh, Pretty Woman" went to #1 .
1965--signed recording contract with MGM Records .
1967--feature film debut in "The Fastest Guitar Alive" released by MGM (New York premiere January 15, 1967) .
1974--signed with Mercury Records .
1977--Linda Ronstadt recorded Roy Orbison/Joe Melson's "Blue Bayou" which went to #3 for two weeks and remained on the chart for 24 weeks .
1980--Don McLean recorded "Crying" which went to #5 and stayed on the charts for 15 weeks .
1982--Van Halen's "Oh, Pretty Woman" went to #12 and became the group's first top 10 hit .
1986--moved to the West Coast .
1987--signed first recording contract in 8 years with Virgin Records .
05/22/1987--appeared on "Saturday Night Live" on May 22 .
1987--taped an all-star tribute for Cinemax which was released on video in May 1988 by Virgin Records as "Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night"; sold 50,000 copies .
1988--"The Traveling Wilburys Volume One" released (with Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, George Harrison and Roy Orbison) .
1988--last concert in Akron Ohio on December 4, two days before his death .
1989--album "Mystery Girl" released posthumously.

1980--Grammy-Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group (with Emmylou Harris) -That Lovin' You Feeling Again- (in feature film "Roadie" soundtrack).
1987--Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame induction .
1988--Grammy\Best Country Vocal Collaboration (with k.d. lang)\Crying .
1989--Grammy\Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group w/Vocal\Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 .
1989--National Academy of Popular Music\Songwriters' Hall of Fame induction .
1990--Grammy\Best Performance, Male\Oh, Pretty Woman.

I close my eyes
Then I drift away
Into the magic night
I softly say
A silent prayer
Like dreamers do
Then I fall asleep
To dream
My dreams of you
*from "In Dreams", R.Orbison,1963