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article imageReview: Roy Orbison — The 'Big O' in Britain Special

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By Alexander Baron     Jul 14, 2012 in Entertainment
Roy Orbison died in 1988; this hour-long BBC4 documentary is an affectionate look back at the Big O with particular reference to his love affair with Britain.
Love affair it was indeed: Roy Orbison loved Britain, and Britain loved him. He toured with the Beatles at the start of their career, and was as big a star here as in his native America, topping the charts no less than three times.
Roy Kelton Orbison was born April 23, 1936 at Vernon, Texas. This hagiographic documentary traces his career from his debut at the age of 8, to his first release Ooby Dooby through personal tragedy - the death of his first wife Claudette in a road accident, and the deaths of his two eldest sons in a house fire - to his own death from a heart attack at the relatively young age of 52.
This programme was actually made to mark the 20th anniversary of his passing, but in spite of that old joke about repeats, it is well worth watching, particularly by younger music fans who may not even be aware of him.
There are contributions from his widow - second wife, Barbara - who died last year, 23 years to the day after her husband; Johnny Cash and Robin Gibb - both also deceased; Joe Walsh, Olivia Harrison - widow of George Harrison - and others.
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