Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Roy Orbison: Oh, Pretty Woman

Black & White Night Concert (1987): Roy Orbison [1936–1988] is backed by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, Tom Waits, kd lang, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, T Bone Burnett, Steven Soles, and Jennifer Warnes in this concert finale. Recorded September 30, 1987 at the Ambassador Hotel's Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles, 
Via: Youtube

Written by: Roy Orbison & Bill Dees
Recorded: Nashville, Tenn
Released: August 1964
Album: 45 single; the B-side has "Yo Te Amo Maria"
Label: Monument 851

As for Oh, Pretty Woman, Wikipedia says,
[I]t rose to No. 1 in the fall of 1964 in the U.S. and stayed on the charts for 14 weeks; it hit No. 1 in the UK as well, spending 18 weeks total on the charts. The single sold over seven million copies.[6]

Orbison's success was greater in Britain; as Billboard magazine noted, "In a 68-week period that began on August 8, 1963, Roy Orbison was the only American artist to have a number-one single in Britain. He did it twice, with "It's Over" on June 25, 1964, and "Oh, Pretty Woman" on October 8, 1964.

The latter song also went to number one in America, making Orbison impervious to the current chart dominance of British artists on both sides of the Atlantic"[42] .
Roy Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas, on April 23, 1936. After he received a guitar from his father at age six, his career path was set: he would be a singer, and that he was. As for his trademark dark sunglasses and black clothes, there is an explanation:
Orbison was very shy and suffered from severe stage fright; wearing sunglasses helped him hide somewhat from the attention. The black clothes and desperation in his songs led to an aura of mystery and introversion.[6] [30][ 31].

Years later, Orbison said: "I wasn't trying to be weird, you know? I didn't have a manager who told me to dress or how to present myself or anything. But the image developed of a man of mystery and a quiet man in black somewhat of a recluse, although I never was, really."
Roy Orbison's life was marred by tragedy, including the death of his first wife and two of his children in separate accidents.The songs speak about loss, and also about love. They all speak of matters of the heart, particularly related to the courtship between man and woman. Love Sought. Love Lost. This is a recurring theme in both great literature and in popular culture. Love and Tragedy are great influences on music and popular culture.

Undoubtedly, Roy Orbison influenced many rock and pop singers, including Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin and Robin Gibbs of the Bee Gees. It thus comes at no surprise that Rolling Stone magazine placed Orbison at number 37 on its list of The Greatest Artists of All Time; and number 13 on its list of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time in 2008. In 2002, Billboard magazine ranked Roy Orbison 74th in its list of the Top 600 recording artists of all time.

Oh, Pretty Woman
By Roy Orbison & Bill Dees

Pretty woman, walking down the street
Pretty woman, the kind I like to meet
Pretty woman
I don't believe you, you're not the truth
No one could look as good as you

Pretty woman, won't you pardon me
Pretty woman, I couldn't help see
Pretty woman
That you look lovely as can be
Are you lonely just like me

Pretty woman, stop a while
Pretty woman, talk a while
Pretty woman, give your smile to me
Pretty woman, yeah yeah yeah
Pretty woman, look my way
Pretty woman, say you'll stay with me
'Cause I need you, I'll treat you right
Come with me baby, be mine tonight

Pretty woman, don't walk on by
Pretty woman, don't make me cry
Pretty woman, don't walk away, hey...okay
If that's the way it must be, okay
I guess I'll go on home, it's late
There'll be tomorrow nigh, but wait
What do I see
Is she walking back to me
Yeah, she's walking back to me
Oh, oh, Pretty woman

Note: I am still fine-tuning the schedule for this blog, and accordingly, I am making some small changes. Great Scientific Advances will move to Thursday from Wednesday. In addition, I also plan to have a Guest Blogger series beginning in February 2011.

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