Maybe Roy Orbison will get a tombstone at Westwood Village Cemetery now?
Roy Orbison's umarked grave
Barbara Orbinson RIP
Barbara Orbison (January 10, 1950 – December 6, 2011) was a German-born United States-based entrepreneur, music producer/publisher, and the widow of American musician Roy Orbison.
Barbara Anne Marie Wellhöner Jakobs was born in Bielefeld, Germany. On July 21, 1968, the 17-year-old Barbara met the 32-year-old Orbison when he asked friends to introduce him to her at a nightclub in Leeds, England, during Orbison's tour of Great Britain. They married on March 24, 1969, in Hendersonville, Tennessee. They divided their time between Nashville and Malibu, California, raising their two sons, Roy Kelton Orbison, Jr. (born 1970) and Alexander Lee Orbison (born 1975).
During the 1980s, she managed her husband's career and was the executive producer of his 1987 album, In Dreams: The Greatest Hits plus his highly acclaimed January 1988 televised music special, Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night. Following her husband's death in December 1988, she took charge of his business affairs and dedicated herself to promoting his music to ensuing generations. She worked with friend and fellow artist Jeff Lynne to put together the posthumous release of the King of Hearts album in 1992 (an album which was re-issued in 2007 by Sony BMG after they took charge of Virgin's catalog in 2005) as well as other record projects. She co-produced Only the Lonely: The Roy Orbison Story, a European stage musical.
In late 1993, the family home in Malibu was destroyed by brush fires. Although she maintained a residence on the West Coast, she returned to Nashville where she purchased a home as well as a commercial property to house her music publishing business. Her company, "Still Working Music," employs songwriters such as Tommy Lee James and Billy Burnette.
Orbison was also involved with charitable causes in aid of the homeless. For Showtime, in 1991, she produced a Roy Orbison tribute at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles that raised in excess of $1 million for the city's homeless. She personally funded "Orbison House," a 21-unit residence for the mentally impaired homeless of Los Angeles.
She produced Damien Leith's album, Roy: A Tribute To Roy Orbison, which was released by Sony BMG in Australia on April 15, 2011 to coincide with what would have been Roy Orbison's 75th birthday.
Barbara Orbison was hospitalized from May 2011 until her death on December 6, 2011, aged 60, from pancreatic cancer, 23 years to the day after her husband's death. She was survived by her sons.
Orbison was a natural baritone, but music scholars have suggested that he had a three- or four-octave range. The combination of Orbison's powerful, impassioned voice and complex musical arrangements led many critics to refer to his music as operatic, giving him the sobriquet "the Caruso of Rock." Elvis Presley and Bono have stated his voice was, respectively, the greatest and most distinctive they had ever heard. While most men in rock and roll in the 1950s and 1960s portrayed a defiant masculinity, many of Orbison's songs instead conveyed a quiet, desperate vulnerability. He was known for performing while standing still and solitary, wearing black clothes and dark sunglasses which lent an air of mystery to his persona.
Orbison was initiated into the second class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 by longtime admirer Bruce Springsteen. The same year he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame two years later. Rolling Stone placed Orbison at number 37 on their list of The Greatest Artists of All Time, and number 13 on their list of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2002, Billboard magazine listed Orbison at number 74 in the Top 600 recording artists.