July 23, 2024

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20: Musician Wesley Orbison speaks onstage at Reel to Reel: Mystery Girl Unraveled at The GRAMMY Museum on May 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/WireImage)

ROY ORBISON: (Singing) Mercy. Pretty woman, won’t you pardon me. Pretty woman, I couldn’t help but see. Pretty woman, and you look lovely as can be. Are you lonely just like me?

SIMON: Wesley Orbison helped forge what rock is today with intricate songs that told stories of heartbreak and longing, with a voice that was positively operatic. That was in the early 1960s, but Roy Orbison struggled after his first wife Claudette died in a motorcycle accident and his two oldest sons perished in a fire. But he climbed back to his feet professionally by the mid 1980s, and recorded several widely admired albums including “Mystery Girl” and it featured one of his classics “You Got It.”

R. ORBISON: (Singing) Anything you want, you got it. Anything you need, you got it. Anything you at all, you got it. Baby. Anything you want.

SIMON: Roy Orbison finished recording that album, and then just a few weeks later, he died of a heart attack at the end of 1988. The 25th anniversary reissue of “Mystery Girl” is out now, including lost tracks and a documentary about the album’s creation. It was put together by his three sons, Alex, Wesley and Roy Jr. Alex Orbison and Wesley Orbison join us now from Nashville. Thanks so much for being with us.A. ORBISON: You know, it’s really wonderful. And I think Roy Jr. had said it best, that it was like looking at a high school yearbook. You know, it’s such a memento and a timepiece of a great time in our lives.Author Q & A with Roy Orbison, Jr., Wesley Orbison, Alex Orbison and Jeff  Slate

SIMON: I have to ask you both, your father endured a lot of tragedy in his life. Was he tragic in person

A. ORBISON: That is one of the beauties of this documentary, is we were able to show how lighthearted and how funny as a person Roy actually, really was. And in a way it’s a shame because every interview that I have gone through in the archives, with the exception of maybe five, they all start the same. Roy, well, you had these tragedies and this is your life and you must be a sad guy. And every time he says, well, you know, not actually. You know, we all have things we deal with in our life and through work and love and faith you can get through these things.

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