Today is the birthday of Roy Orbison (1936), born in Vernon, Texas, to Orbie Lee, a mechanic, and Nadine, a nurse.
One day, during a songwriting session with his partner Bill Dees, Orbison asked his wife, Claudette Frady Orbison, if she needed any money for her upcoming trip to Nashville. Dees remarked, “Pretty woman never needs any money.” Forty minutes later, Orbison’s most famous hit, Oh, Pretty Woman, had been written.
His fame declined after that until he formed the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Tom Petty in 1988. Orbison died of a heart attack in December of that year, about six weeks after the band’s first album was released.
from The Writer’s Almanac