Roy Story

Roy Orbison rarely expressed anything celebratory in his work. In songs like “Blue Angel” and “Mean Woman Blues,” he -- and we -- found joy in heartache, beauty in the shades of gray in which Orbison’s music resides. So one wonders what the late singer would have made of the multi-tiered hubbub (including a documentary film, a gallery exhibit, a concert, and an awards banquet) kicking off this week. Perhaps the most compelling of the events is “Mercy: A Roy Orbison Pilgrimage” -- a display of Dallas entrepreneur Glen Agritelley’s Orbison memorabilia, the largest private stash in the world. The exhibition features nearly 100 items from Orbison’s career, among them a signed guitar, vintage concert posters and sheet music, and costumes the singer/songwriter wore on stage.

The opening of the exhibit on Friday, January 25, commences with a talk by Agritelley at 11 a.m. It’s followed at 8 p.m. by a tribute concert featuring the Truly Lover Trio and the world première of Kim Scharnberg’s Suite on the Tunes of Roy Orbison as performed by the Herberger String Quartet.

Jan. 25-April 18, 2008
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela