Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison

Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison

by John Kruth

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Overview

(Book). He was blessed with a set of pipes that Elvis Presley claimed were the best in the business. His eyes hidden behind his perpetual Ray-Bans, Roy Orbison stood perfectly still onstage, singing songs of devastating heartbreak. Bob Dylan compared him to a professional killer, claiming the intensity of Orbison's operatic tenor was enough to make him "drive off a cliff." Neil Young stated, "It's almost impossible to comprehend the depth of his soul. There's something sad but proud about Roy's music." And Bono later claimed he was not only enthralled by Orbison's "angelic voice," but considered "In Dreams" to be "probably the greatest pop song ever written." Orbison's singing has inspired everyone who has heard it, from Springsteen to k. d. lang, and laid the very foundation for goth. While fascinating from a pop culture standpoint, it is Orbison's life's journey that makes a great story that has yet to be told to its fullest. Rhapsody in Black doesn't shy away from or trivialize the personal pain, alienation, and tragic events that shaped Orbison's singular personality and music. Roy Orbison wasn't merely a singer but a sonic alchemist who, in the end, transformed unfathomable human misery into transcendent melody and platinum records. Rhapsody in Black contains new interviews with over 20 people who worked closely with Orbison throughout his life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476886794
Publisher: Backbeat
Publication date: 05/01/2013
Pages: 246
Sales rank: 1,158,218
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

John Kruth, whose other books include To Live's to Fly: The Ballad of the Late, Great Townes Van Zandt (winner of an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award), A Friend of the Devil: The Glorification of the Outlaw in Song, from Robin Hood to Rap, and Bright Moments: The Life and Legacy of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, is also a musician with ten solo albums to his credit. As a sideman, Kruth has played with Ornette Coleman, Laurie Anderson, John Cale, Violent Femmes, and the Band's Garth Hudson and Rick Danko, among others. Kruth's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Progressive, Wive, Wax Poetics, and Sing Out! A professor of music, Kruth currently teaches at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 The Rockabilly Rigoletto 1

2 All Right . . . for a While 23

3 A Cat Called Domino 37

4 Dreamsongs of the Gentle Emperor 55

5 Of Crickets and Beatles 85

6 The Pretty Woman and a House Without Windows 99

7 Rolling with the Stones and Other Punches 113

8 Love, Death, and B Movies 121

9 Greetings from Jericho Parkway 149

10 Down Thunder Road and Back 167

11 Bulgarian Holiday 183

12 California Blue 189

13 In Bob's Garage 203

14 Going Out on a High Note 209

15 Beyond the End: A Widow's Walk 217

Afterword: So Tired of Being Lonely 225

Selected Discography 231

Bibliography 237

Acknowledgments 239

Index 241

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