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GRAMMY Museum Announces Roy Orbison Exhibition: The Soul of Rock & Roll

On April 29, 2011, The GRAMMY Museum will debut a new exhibit, Roy Orbison: The Soul of Rock-n-Roll. Housed on the Museum’s fourth floor, the exhibit will explore the life and legacy of music legend and cultural enigma Roy Orbison. The exhibit is launching in celebration of Orbison’s 75th birthday year.

“Roy Orbison has one of the most haunting and emotional voices in the history of American music,” said GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. “His too brief, yet brilliant career still lives today, and deserves to be heard. We’re pleased to re-introduce his music to his fans who recall the genius of his work, as well as introduce him to a new generation of fans.”

Best recognized around the world for his otherworldly voice and black sunglasses, Roy Orbison was both Rock-n-Roll pioneer and prototypical singer-songwriter, beginning with his first high school band (The Wink Westerners) and shifting into mass consciousness in the 1960s with a string of singles for the Monument label that defined an artist and helped launch a label.

Orbison soon became one of the few established hit-makers from the late 1950s and early 1960s to not only hold his ground, but to actually increase his popularity in the wake of the British Invasion. He maintained his popularity through music which displayed an extraordinary variety of themes, structure, tempo and rhythm and an authentic, emotional connection that transcended mere craft, exemplified in his signature classic, “Oh, Pretty Woman,” recorded on August 1st, 1964. Orbison was the recipient of multiple GRAMMY Awards and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.

Bringing together more than 40 diverse artifacts, rare photographs and more, the exhibit features items from the private collection of Orbison’s widow, Barbara and family. On display, visitors will see a wide-ranging array of items, including:

Orbison’s prescription black-framed sunglasses
Handwritten set list, signed by Orbison
Several of Orbison’s guitars
Handwritten lyrics and letters
Orbison ticket stubs, concert posters, fan memorabilia
And much more…including an exciting selection of biographical films and archived footage
“I am honored The GRAMMY Museum is remembering Roy, a man, who has so often been a total mystery. Now the world will have a glimpse into his life and a chance to know him through more than his music,” said Barbara Orbison, Roy’s widow.

Roy Orbison: The Soul of Rock-n-Roll will be on display in The GRAMMY Museum’s Special Exhibits Gallery – where temporary exhibits are showcased on a rotating basis – through November 28, 2011.

Additionally, Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is celebrating Orbison with the long-awaited release of Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection (1960-64), a 2-CD/1-DVD set including all the “A&B Sides” recorded by Orbison for the groundbreaking Monument label during an electrifying peak from 1960-1964. Restored to pristine mono mixes for the first time since their original 7″ vinyl releases, Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection (1960-64) presents the classic catalog the way it’s meant to sound.

The GRAMMY Museum is located at 800 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite A245, and Los Angeles, CA 90015. With an entrance off of Figueroa Street, the Museum resides within the L.A. LIVE campus, at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles.

About The GRAMMY Museum
Paying tribute to music’s rich cultural history, this one-of-a-kind, 21st-century Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music — the GRAMMY Award. The GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests can experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only The GRAMMY Museum can deliver.

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