Wednesday, December 7, 2011
– Barbara Orbison, 61, the widow of Roy Orbison, died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer 23 years to the day that her husband died.
Orbison managed her late husband's business and music affairs after his death in Nashville. She leaves three children.
The two met at a concert in Leeds, England in 1968 when she was an 18-year-old fan from Germany. Within a year, the two were married. Roy Orbison had a string of hits, endured personal tragedy. His first wife was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1966. Two children died in a fire at their Tennessee home during that same British tour.
By the 1980's, Orbison's career had a resurrection both with solo discs and as a member of the true super group The Traveling Wilburys, which also included Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne. The band released two albums. Orbison's final studio album, "Mystery Girl," hit number five in 1989, two months after his death at age 52.
Barbara had been treated for pancreatic cancer since May. He worked to keep her husband's legacy alive. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and received a 1998 Lifetime Achievement Grammy. She also oversaw "Roy Orbison: The Soul of Rock and Roll," a 4-CD, 107-song box set, in 2008 and co-produced a stage musical, "Only The Lonely: The Roy Orbison Story," which toured England in the 1990s.