Roy Orbison Celebrated at Grammy Museum

Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison, an iconic inspiration to generations of singer-songwriters, is the subject of a new book and film. (Photo: cover of the album Roy Orbison Black & White Night)

Roy Orbison is getting a heightened profile in Hollywood, with a new book about his life and a movie in the works and a special event at the Grammy Museum in downtown L.A. to celebrate the singer’s life on Oct. 17. The singer who died 29 years ago, wielded much musical influence during his lifetime as well as inspiring generations that followed. The Authorized Roy Orbison, published by Hachette, will be releasd globally on Oct. 17.  Meanwhile, Orbison’s three sons have his pledged the estate’s cooperation on the biopic The Big O: Roy Orbison, being written by Ray Gideon and Bruce Evans (Stand By Me, Starman).  

The Big O will be the first authorized film about the singer, who was born in 1936 in Vernon, Texas, and went on to drive rockabilly and lend a country sensibility to pop.  The filmmakers will have access to virtually all of Orbison’s songs, which include the hits “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Crying,” “In Dreams” and many more. Between 1960 and 1964, 22 of his songs placed on Billboard’s Top 40.

Orbison’s three sons, Wesley, Alex and Roy Orbison Jr., will honor the legacy of their father at the multimedia presentation “A Love So Beautiful: An Evening of Roy Orbison,” at the Grammy Museum. The three will be interviewed by longtime music publicist Bob Merlis and read passages from The Authorized Roy Orbison, which they co-wrote. They’ll also discuss the upcoming Sony Music album release the album A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which comes to market Nov. 3.

The presentation will include a “first listen” to the new album and will debut a new “Oh, Pretty Woman” video shot during the recording process, including an intimate session in Nashville where the brothers, along with 10-month-old Roy Orbison III, contribute to the track in the same studio their father once owned. During the evening, footage will also be shown of the Royal Philharmonic in session at Abbey Road’s fabled Studio 2.

Orbison’s music is perennially popular in synch licensing, having been included on more than a hundred film and TV projects, including most recently American Made, The Hateful 8 and Dumb and Dumber. He wrote or co-wrote most of his songs.  A 1999 television documentary In Dreams: The Roy Orbison Story, included artists Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, U2’s Bono and George Harrison, among others, offering testimonials as to how they were influenced by Orbison’s sound.

The Orbison children will be signing books following the Oct. 17  event, “A Love So Beautiful: An Evening of Roy Orbison.” Ticket information: here.

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