Roy Orbison is a rock and roll icon almost without peer. He came of age as an artist on the venerable Sun Records label; toured with The Beatles; had massive hits in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s; invented the black-clad, sunglasses-wearing image of the rock star; and reinvented the art of songwriting many times over. He is a member of the Rock & Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame, a recipient of the Musicians Hall of Fame’s inaugural Iconic Riff Award, and the winner of multiple GRAMMY® awards. He is known the world over for hits like “Blue Bayou,” “You Got It,” and “Oh, Pretty Woman” and was a member of the band that inspired the term “supergroup”-the Traveling Wilburys, with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Tom Petty. Despite these and countless other accolades, the story of Roy Orbison’s life is virtually unknown to his millions of fans around the world. Now, for the first time ever, the Orbison Estate, headed by Roy’s sons, Wesley, Roy Jr., and Alex Orbison, has set out to set the record straight.
The Authorized Roy Orbison tells the epic tale of a West Texas boy, drawn to the guitar at age six, whose monumental global career successes were matched at nearly every turn by extraordinary personal tragedies, including the loss of his first wife in a motorcycle accident and his two oldest sons in a fire. It’s a story of the intense highs and severe lows that make up the mountain range of Roy Orbison’s career; one that touched four decades and ended abruptly at perhaps its highest peak, when he passed away at the age of fifty-two on December 6, 1988.
Filled with hundreds of photographs, many never before seen, gathered from across the globe and uncovered from deep within the Orbison Vault, The Authorized Roy Orbison shows Roy Orbison as a young child and follows him all the way through to the peak of his stardom and up to his tragic end. Wesley, Roy Jr., and Alex Orbison-Roy’s Boys-have left no stone unturned in order to illustrate the people, places, things, and events that forged their father, the man behind those famous sunglasses.