ROY ORBISON Remembered!
THE ROY ORBISON STORY
Starring Bernie Jessome, Chronicles the life and times of a classic figure of popular music. This musical presentation captures the spirit of the legendary singer/songwriter through a combination of narration and music. Thrill to such hits as: “Ooby, Dooby”, “Only The Lonely”, “Blue Angel”, “Running Scared”, “Crying” and “Dream Baby”, “In Dreams”, “Workin' For The Man”, “Mean Woman Blues”, “Blue Bayou”, “It's Over”, “You Got It” and “Pretty Woman”.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th
Bernie Jessome was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, home for the long time musician has been Toronto, Canada. He began his musical career singing with The Esquires and as his career took off he found himself opening for his idol Roy Orbison and groups like The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones. In 1991 he formed a Roy Orbison Tribute production called Shades of Yesterday. Bernie has performed throughout the United States and spent more than a year with the U.S. based American Superstars. His spellbinding performances as Roy Orbison throughout England in 1995 were the talk of the theatre circuit. Touring the continent as his idol in The Roy Orbison Story, Bernie Jessome is having the time of his life. Jessome comments, "Orbison was, in the eyes of Elvis Presley and many other great musicians, the best singer in the world. The tragedies of losing his wife in a motorcycle accident in 1966 and two years later losing two of his three sons to a house fire, didn't stop this unique person from continuing his musical work. He is a true legend and it is a privilege to sing in the memory of the irreplaceable Roy Orbison."
Roy Orbison, born in Kelton, Texas, in April of 1936, was one of the most distinctive singers of the rock and roll era. Along with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers, he was a country-bred musician considered highly influential in the worldwide rise of the music that defined a generation. His early influences were almost all country and gospel based. His father and uncle were both music fans, and had Roy singing at shows and on radio before he was ten. By the time he was in his early teens, Roy and his band, the Wink Westerners, were traveling all around West Texas. Roy spent two years as a Geology major at North Texas State University where he met a young theatre student with show-business ambitions named Pat Boone. Boone encouraged him to pursue his music and Roy put together a new band. His live performances brought him into contact with young Johnny Cash who helped get his material into the hands of Sun Records owner Sam Phillips. The result was his first hit record, Ooby Dooby, released in 1956.
Roy moved to Nashville and became a songwriter for Acuff-Rose Publishing. In 1960 he offered his new composition to Elvis Presley and then to the Everly Brothers. After having no success in getting either to record the song, he decided to do it himself. The result was the smash hit record, Only The Lonely. The next few years brought more hit records. Running Scared, Crying, Candy Man, Dream Baby, In Dreams, Mean Woman Blues, Blue Bayou, It's Over and Pretty Woman all helped propel Roy Orbison to become one of the biggest stars of his generation. In 1963 The Beatles felt privileged to tour with him throughout England.
Tragedy struck Roy Orbison in 1966. His wife Claudette was killed as a result of a motorcycle accident. By 1967 it seemed that Roy had weathered out the storm. He was finding it easier to write songs again and plans were started for recording sessions set toward the release of a new album. Then tragedy struck again with twice the force. A fire at his Nashville home killed two of his three children. After weeks of grief he gave up writing to immerse himself in the grinding world of concert touring.
He teamed up with many top contemporary artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, k.d. lang, and Jackson Brown to film a concert for HBO called, A Black and White Night Live, which produced an album of the same name. He toured constantly in Europe and Asia. He formed a new group with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and George Harrison called the Traveling Wilburys and they performed masquerading as a band of brothers. He won his first Grammy Award for the song, That Lovin' You Feelin' Again, recorded with Emmylou Harris in 1980. The program, Salute To Roy Orbison, was taped at the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles for presentation as a Cinemax cable special. In late 1986, officials at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that Roy would be one of the new inductees. Everything was set for a full-fledged comeback when his brother Sam found him dead of a heart attack in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Roy Orbison's delivered songs that broke the standard song writing formula and came on instead like mini-operas on a scale that matched the emotions the lyrics described. At the induction dinner for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, held in 1987, Bruce Springsteen said, "When I went into the studio to record the album, Born To Run, I wanted to make a record with words like Bob Dylan that sounded like Phil Spector. But most of all, I wanted to sing like Roy Orbison. Now, everybody knows, nobody sings like Roy Orbison."