Many people are very lucky to be in front of the spotlight once in their lives. All their hard work as paid off and now people are listening to their music or watching their movies or TV shows. A rarer feat is being able to capture a fickle public’s attention a second time, even after an extended absence. Roy Orbison was one of those people, and this clip from a musical documentary, “Roy Orbison & Friends: A Black & White Night Live”.
With a fairly decent, yet intimate audience, Orbison played a lot of his hit songs from decades past. This one is called “Oh Pretty Woman”, a tune that first came out in 1964, and spent several weeks on top of the charts. The genesis of the song came about when Orbison’s wife asked him for some cash. A record producer that was there then said, “A pretty woman never needs cash.” Thus, the song was born.
Orbison had quite the illustrious career, but he’d faded from the spotlight for a while before hooking up with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, and George Harrison to form a supergroup called The Traveling Wilburys. With songs like “Handle With Care” and “End of the Line”, their efforts were helping him regain his stature in the limelight. It was something that he was glad to have happen again… and this video shows his comfort commanding a stage.
Like the Traveling Wilburys, Orbison had an amazing backup group. In case you didn’t recognize all of them, they included Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne, k.d. Lang, Bonnie Raitt, and Steven Soles. This was filmed in 1987 and Orbison would be dead from a heart attack a little over a year later. That’s why this video, as buoyant as it is, also feels a little stark with in being in black and white.
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