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SLQ: . Barbara Orbison dies at 61; wife of singer Roy Orbison Barbara Orbison helped her husband rebuild his life after a string of personal tragedies, becoming a force behind his musical resurgence in the 1980s and, after his death, working relentlessly to burnish his legacy. By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times 90- December 8, 2011 When singer Roy Orbison was touring England in 1968, it had been four years since he last appeared at the top of the charts with "Oh, Pretty Woman," even though he continued playing live and recording long after the pulse of rock music shifted away from his signature brand of sweepingly operatic pop. At a show in Leeds on that tour, he met 18-year-old German fan Barbara Ann Marie Wellhoener Jakobs, and within a year the two were married. "In the '70s I think I nearly cost him his career, because I don't think he was ambitious enough," Barbara Orbison, who died Tuesday in Los Angeles of pancreatic cancer, told Goldmine magazine last year. "He fell in love with me in '68, he asked me to marry him, and we had two kids. And I think he just wanted to live." It was a turbulent time in Roy Orbison's life: The singer had lost his first wife, Claudette, in a motorcycle accident two years earlier. Later, while he was still on the same tour of England, two of his three children died when his house in Tennessee caught fire. His relationship with Barbara appeared to bring a renewed sense of joy to his life. "In the '70s, he was basically rebuilding a life," she told another interviewer earlier this year. "He didn't want to do anything except be somebody in love, with a little money and lots of fun. By the '80s, he was ready again." Indeed, in the 1980s Barbara was a catalytic force behind much of the activity that restored the shine to her husband's star in the pop music world. Orbison was lionized by rock stars including Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Jackson Browne, starred in a popular and widely acclaimed HBO documentary "Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night," and was an early inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Orbison also was drafted by ex-Beatle George Harrison to join him in the rock supergroup the Traveling Wilburys along with Petty, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne, and the band released a pair of platinum-selling albums. Orbison's final studio album, "Mystery Girl," reached No. 5 on the national sales chart in early 1989, two months after his death, and yielded the top 10 hit "You Got It." Barbara remained her husband's manager until his death at 52 on Dec. 6, 1988, 23 years to the day before she died at age 61 at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where she'd been undergoing cancer treatment since May, a family spokesman said. Barbara was born Jan. 10, 1950, in Bielefeld, Germany, and after marrying Orbison raised their children in Nashville and Malibu. She worked relentlessly to keep her husband's legacy not just alive but growing after his death, leading to his induction into Nashville's Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and a 1998 Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. Barbara also oversaw the creation of "Roy Orbison: The Soul of Rock and Roll," a four-CD, 107-song box set, in 2008 and co-produced a stage musical, "Only the Lonely: The Roy Orbison Story," which toured England in the 1990s. She established her own publishing company, Still Working Music, in Nashville that worked with successive generations of songwriters including Taylor Swift, Billy Burnette and Tommy Lee James. Still Working received the 2010 song of the year award from BMI, the publishing rights organization, as publisher of Swift's hit single "You Belong to Me." In addition, Barbara spearheaded philanthropic efforts including a 1991 benefit tribute to her late husband at the Universal Amphitheatre that raised $1 million to help the homeless in Los Angeles, and she funded Orbison House, a 21-unit residence for the mentally impaired homeless in L.A. She produced another tribute album, "Roy: A Tribute to Roy Orbison," by Irish Australian singer-songwriter Damien Leith, which was released in Australia in conjunction with what would have been the singer's 75th birthday, on April 23 of this year. Barbara is survived by her sons Roy Kelton Orbison Jr. and Alexander Orbison, and her stepson, Wesley Orbison, Roy's son from his first marriage. Services in Los Angeles will be private. Details on a public service in Nashville are pending.

SLQ: In this April 1, 1969 file photo, American pop singer Roy Orbison poses with his then 18-year-old wife Barbara to the media in London. Barbara Orbison died Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 in Los Angeles. She was 60. - AP Photo LOS ANGELES: Barbara Orbison, widow of rock n roll pioneer Roy Orbison, died Tuesday on the 23rd anniversary of her husbands death, a family spokeswoman said. She was 60.Barbara Orbison died from pancreatic cancer at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center surrounded by her sons, said publicist and family spokeswoman Sarah McMullen. Orbison had been hospitalized since May. Since the 1980s, Barbara Orbison devoted her time to managing her husbands estate and keeping his legacy alive. With her son, Roy Kelton Orbison Jr. she co-produced a four-CD box set of her husbands 107 recordings. Roy Orbison: The Soul of Rock and Roll was released in 2008 and contains all of his hits and 12 previously unreleased tracks. The package marked the first all-inclusive body of Roy Orbisons work from his earliest recordings to the Traveling Wilburys debut album, Mystery Girl and his last live performance. Roy Orbison died in 1988 at the age of 52, in the midst of a comeback with The Traveling Wilburys. Actor Patrick Swayzes widow, Lisa Swayze, said her heart out goes out to the Orbison family. Patrick and I always had a warm connection with them both. Now we have lost this wonderful lady, Lisa Swayze said. Patrick Swayze died in September 2009 of pancreatic cancer. In 1998, Barbara Orbison issued Combo Concert on her label Orbison Records, a collection of previously unreleased live recordings from Holland and France made in 1965, according to Roy Orbisons official website. That same year, Barbara Orbison accepted the Recording Academys Lifetime Achievement Award on her husbands behalf, which honored his contribution to the recording industry. In January 2010, Barbara Orbison accepted a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on her husbands behalf. Barbara Orbisons Nashville, Tennessee-based music publishing company Still Working Music was recently awarded BMIs 2010 Song of the Year for Taylor Swifts You Belong With Me. Roy Orbison paid tribute to his wife on his website. Ive spent my lifetime trying to figure love out. Love ranges from just fascination to something almost spiritual. In the case with my wife, Barbara, it just keeps growing all the time, he wrote. Barbara Orbison will be buried next to her husband at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles, McMullen said. A Celebration of Life will be held at an undetermined future date in Nashville, Tennessee. Barbara Orbison is survived by her sons Wesley Orbison, 46, Roy Kelton Orbison, Jr., 41 and Alexander Orbison, 36.


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Voldar: The Secret Afterlife Of Roy Orbison For me, like most people, memory is intricately intertwined with music. Another Brick in the Wall pt 2 was a hit the year I started school, and so the song always resurrects those early experiences of classroom tedium. Falcos Rock Me Amadeus, playing on the ferry that brought me from England to Holland in 1986, summons textures of my first trip abroad from the sinkhole of amnesia; while Kraftwerks Radioactivity is forever fused with a 6am walk I took around Amsterdams Schipol airport. Endlessly and subjectively I can listen to a track and landscapes, people, places and moods return. What is the mechanism behind this? I dont care. I note only that the links in the chain of music and memory are almost always forged accidentally- standing in a shop, watching TV, sitting in a café. When I was travelling in Central Asia a few years ago however I decided to conduct an experiment- I would intentionally fuse some music with the landscape to use as an aid to memory later. That was the plan at least. Unfortunately as I came up with this idea the day before leaving, I had no time to reorganize my MP3 player and so the music I brought with me was just stuff I had picked up recently- Television, Bonnie Prince Billy, Arcade Fire and a few others. Immediately after I arrived I was too overloaded on sensations to listen to any of it. And besides, I hate earphones. Playing the tracks back now, they evoke nothing. However, the Black Eyed Peas criminally awful My Humps-which was playing everywhere in Turkmenistan- immediately transports me back to that shitty nightclub in Turkmenabat where a fat girl with a moustache kept bumping into me on the dance floor. Then theres the acoustic version of Hotel California, which summons unpleasant memories of the gruesome meat market in Balkanabat, from which I fled into a night that stank of burning petrol and despair. But those two fusions were all accidental- like Rock Me Amadeus on the ferry. Maybe thats just the way it works and the experiment was doomed from the start. But there was an exception, a moment when my plan transformed a song and the contents of my skull forever, giving me one of the most amazing musical experiences of my life. This is how it happened: I was standing on the edge of a vast pit of fire in the depths of the Kara Kum desert. In that abandoned nocturnal wasteland, the burning hole seemed almost mythical, even though it was just a crater accidentally created by Soviet engineers digging for gas, and then set on fire by a nomad worried the methane odour was poisoning his sheep. At that moment however, it was as awe-inspiring as the Mouth of Hell itself. After gazing into it transfixed for about fifteen minutes, I realized no photograph could do the hole justice, and the memory would rapidly fade. Suddenly I remembered my plan, to fuse a song with a landscape. I searched through the MP3 player and found some Rammstein- infernal yes, but rather redundant when confronted with an actual pit of fire. Next came Roy Orbisons In Dreams. Immediately I stopped- this song was already rich with meaning, memory and images for me. Nevertheless, mysterious and perfect as it is, I knew it could absorb more. Better yet I thought the bizarre contrast between eerie 60s pop and satanic inferno would give me an authentic, almost classical surrealist experience, like something straight out of Andre Bretons manifesto. But as soon as the Big O started singing in his lower, ghostly register the experience went way beyond surreal. There was no bizarre collision, but rather the music actually fused with the moment, with the desert, the night sky, the dancing flames and the epic emptiness. In fact, as the song continued I realized that that strange, miniature symphony of obsession and dark longing had never sounded so haunting, so piercing, so perfect. I played, and replayed, lost in the song, the heat, fire and darkness. Clearly I had just discovered the perfect conditions for listening to Roy Orbison: on the edge of a pit of fire, in a void. My friend Joe appeared at the edge of the hole. I called him over I wanted to be sure that I wasnt suffering from an aural hallucination brought on by the psychic deprivation of the desert. Joe stood there, entranced by the fire and the music, playing and replaying the track. When he finally gave me back the earphones he was wide-eyed: That was almost a shamanistic experience, he said. I understood what he meant. Songs for Orbison were incantations of power, gateways to other worlds. This meek, shy man with a passion for radio-controlled airplanes sang of dream realities where his fantasies came true, where the grim world he inhabited was transcended, even replaced. In Dreams makes this urge to cross into a better world explicit in the lyrics, but even in apparently mindless pop such as Pretty Woman Orbison describes an individual who, by the power of his will and growl, can force a woman to do his bidding- like a medium summoning the dead at a séance. There is always something slippery going on in Orbisons songs, and he is not always opening the door he thinks he is. Im not sure which door Id stepped through, myself. There were no intoxicants in my system, but high on music and fire and the desert and the bottomless sky I was now somewhere else entirely. I spent over an hour wandering through the burning dream palaces of Roy Orbison. Then, Im not sure what happened. Something moved me to step back from the pit of fire. I turned and saw a hill. It was blacker than the sand, blacker than the night sky, an eerie pyramid of negation in time and space. I was close to where Zoroaster, the worlds first apocalyptic prophet had heard God talking and founded a religion that had dominated Iran for a millennium before the Islamic conquest. Perhaps, perhaps if I climbed that mountain well, what exactly? I switched off the music and started walking. The hill was about half a mile away across a flat plain, but it seemed to take an eternity to reach it. It took even longer to climb. And once I reached the top I wondered what I was doing there: there was no hole in the sky through which I might perceive the colour out of space. Mildly disappointed I descended and returned to the camp, where my friends were waiting. Between my ears however, deep in the meat in my skull, Roy Orbison, the Great Shaman of the Kara Kum Desert now lurked, imprisoned forever, waiting to be released like a djinn from his bottle only when I played that song. And when I do, he summons the flames again, and the desert and the darkness, and I step into that burning dream palace, and spend a little more time wandering its corridors and rooms. And the world is transformed- for two minutes and fifty seconds, at least http://www.sabotagetimes.com/music/the-secret-afterlife-of-roy-orbison/

Voldar: BBC4 . Roy Orbison - The 'Big O' in Britain Roy Orbison was the best singer in the world. That's what Elvis Presley said, and he should know. To mark the 20th anniversary of Orbison's death, this programme celebrates the extraordinary talent of 'The Big O' and his relationship with his most loyal and enduring fans, British musicians and the British public. Through a combination of interview and archive, it charts Orbison's career in Britain, from the sell-out tour with the Beatles that sky-rocketed him to international superstardom, right up to the collaboration with lifelong friend George Harrison on the Travelling Wilburys project in the late 1980s. Effortlessly cool, musically sophisticated, Orbison was a rock and roll legend, whose legacy continues to captivate both the listeners and performers of today. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fzv3y

Voldar: Roy Orbison Featured in Men's Health Magazine Check out page 26 of Men's Health Magazine (Feb. 2012) on newsstands now to see their picks for the Top 5 Best Live Albums- Roy's at #3 with The Black and White Night Concert which is available on iTunes! http://www.royorbison.com/us/official-photos/14591

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