Burlesque legend Tempest Storm stars in the brand new video for the title track of a brand new Roy Orbison album that had remained unreleased for 46 years. “One of the Lonely Ones.” The single and the album were recorded at a pivotal time in the life of Roy Orbison. Roy was trying to emerge from the despair he suffered after two of his sons perished in a house fire while he was away on tour, this after losing his wife Claudette, the mother of those children, in a motorcycle accident barely two years earlier.
The video, directed by the husband and wife team of Michael and Alana Lawrence (billed as Daya & Wolf, here), was shot on location at Little Darlings strip club in Las Vegas, and stars Tempest Storm whose career trajectory in the prudish 1950s and early ‘60s broke new ground in glamour and erotica. Ms. Storm, born Annie Banks in Eastman, Georgia, 87 years ago, celebrates her 22nd birthday – she was born on leap year day 1928 – this coming February 29th. Romantically linked to Elvis Presley and the star of such films as Paris After Midnight (1951), Striptease Girl (1952), French Peep Show (1954), Teaserama (1955) and Buxom Beautease (1956) she was coaxed out of retirement to portray a character broadly based on herself. Tempest Storm is the subject of a feature length documentary currently in production.
Michael Lawrence commented, “For months, my wife and I had been obsessing over the idea of using a mature woman in one of our films. Roy Orbison has had a great effect on both our lives long before now. His music gives insight into the human condition, and his own life. Alana became fixated with the intrepid burlesque dancer Tempest Storm, 87, beautiful, and with a lifetime of stories. Equally fascinated, we intertwined both characters in the story – our image of Orbison’s words and Tempest’s beauty. We gravitated towards creating lush, cinematic visuals that truly captured the essence of the lyrics. Rather than create a dense narrative, we wanted to create a film that was more open-ended, with room for interpretation and speaks to one’s idea of loneliness and lost love. The neon light, aching lust, and heartache that fill a strip club seemed to best capture the emptiness. There is universality to this story. It is striking, when listening to the lyrics, to witness one’s older self on that same journey, walking into the night, in search of whiskey and good company.”
Link to view “One of the Lonely Ones”:
Alex Orbison who, along with his brothers Wesley and Roy, Jr., runs Roy’s Boys, the family company that oversees the Roy Orbison catalogs, recently commented to Southern California Public Radio about his father and the song the video highlights, “I know ‘One Of The Lonely Ones’ was one of the first ones out of the gate that he had written. I think it had enabled him to get further and get a grasp on his situation,” a reference to the loss of his two children in the house fire.
One of the Lonely Ones, Orbison’s “lost” album, was recorded between January and August of 1969 but never released, and thereafter forgotten. Alex, Roy Jr. and Wesley discovered the album when they were preparing for the release of The MGM Years 1965 – 1973 box set (13 CDs/14 LPs) that chronicles the numerous album and singles released from Orbison during his amazingly prolific tenure with MGM Records. One of the Lonely Ones, a testament to Roy’s unparalleled ability to turn heartbreak into art, has been released on its own and has come to be an international phenomenon. It was been warmly accepted in the UK where, at the dawn of their career, the Beatles toured with Orbison as his opening act. The album recently broke into the top 40 of Australia’s ARIA album chart. Germany is another fervent market for this very special Orbison release. Roy’s second wife and mother to Alex and Roy, Jr., was born Barbara Wellhöner Jakobs, and a native of Bielefeld, Germany. She married Roy in 1969 during an interval between recording sessions for the album that would become One of the Lonely Ones. Barbara went on to manage her husband’s career including his collaboration with George Harrison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Bob Dylan as The Traveling Wilburys. Both “You Got It,” Orbison’s massive hit single and the Mystery Girl album of which it was part, were released after his tragic death in December 1988. Barbara Orbison ran the family’s business until her death in 2011, exactly 23 years after that of her husband.
One of the Lonely Ones was transferred from the original tape at the famed Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN, and the tracks were individually mixed by Chuck Turner (whose credits include Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss and Marty Stuart) at the Cash Cabin under Alex Orbison’s supervision. Finally, the restored-to-stereo tracks were put in the capable hands of Richard Dodd for mastering.