Tragic Life of Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison Songs
Roy Orbison the gifted songwriter and singer, that some of his critics refer to his style as being operatic and giving him the nick name of “the Caruso of Rock”. Roy Orbison made famous such classic hits as; Oh Pretty Woman, Only the Lonely, Crying, Running Scared and You Got It.
He had a tragic life. First losing his beloved first wife Claudette in a tragic motor cycle accident, and then losing two of his three boys in a house fire.
On June 6, 1966, Roy and Claudette were riding their motor bikes in tandem, heading to the National Drag Races in Bristol, Tennessee. After the races they were heading home just a few miles out of Hendersonville. Roy told Claudette he would show her a short cut, so he pulled ahead. Roy was out of sight when Claudette was hit by a truck at an intersection. The impact threw her off the bike; she hit the hood of the truck and ended up under the truck. She was rushed to the hospital where she later died of her injuries.
Shortly after Claudette’s death, on the evening of September 14, 1968 Roy was not home; he was performing in Birmingham. That evening at Roy’s home in Hendersonville, his sons Roy Duane, Tony and Westley were down stairs playing with fire, using a lighter. Suddenly a corner of the bedding caught on fire and the boys tried to put it out, to no avail. Their grandfather was able to save the youngest son, Wesley but the two older boys, Roy Duane and Tony perished in the fire.
Roy Orbison died of a heart attack in 1988 at the age of 52.
Too Soon To Know
The song “Too Soon To Know” was written days before Claudette’s death but it served as her eulogy. Even though the song was about the end of a love affair, it could have also been sung for the end of a loved one’s life. After Claudette’s death the song quickly went to #3 in Britain but stalled at #68 on the US charts. Listen to this beautiful heartfelt song as Roy sang it in Melbourne Australia in 1973 live concert, you can almost hear the pain in Roy’s voice.