Roy Or­bi­son and Friends Satur­day, 6.30pm, Stu­dio

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Here’s a piece of nos­tal­gia that if you are of a cer­tain age (or maybe even younger) will have you leap­ing about play­ing air gui­tar and singing badly with gusto: it’s film of the live con­cert Or­bi­son did in 1987 fea­tur­ing pals such as Bruce Spring­steen, KD Lang and Elvis Costello. The Big O may have died of a heart at­tack a year later aged 52 but his haunt­ing bal­lads live on. Who can for­get Only the Lonely, Dream Baby, Work­ing for the Man and It’s Over? Some of his lyrics re­flect the tragedies that be­set his life. In 1966 his first wife Claudette was killed when she was hit by a semi-trailer while rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle with Or­bi­son; two years later two of his sons died in a fire at their home in Hen­der­son­ville, Ten­nessee. (Johnny Cash bought the property.) Or­bi­son’s ca­reer fal­tered in the 1970s as a re­sult. His al­bums per­formed poorly un­til Spring­steen and Glen Camp­bell recorded some of his songs. Or­bi­son hit his stride again in 1977 with a com­pi­la­tion LP of his great­est hits that went to No 1 in Bri­tain. By 1987, with more stars such as Linda Ron­stadt, the Ea­gles and Don McLean record­ing his songs, Or­bi­son was back on top, but the first signs of coro­nary prob­lems ap­peared. The trip down this mem­ory lane continues tonight at 9pm with film of his per­for­mance at Mel­bourne’s Fes­ti­val Hall in 1972 in which he sings Pretty Woman and Cry­ing.

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