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Roy Orbison and Friends: Black & White Night (1988)Roy Orbison and Friends: Black & White Night (1988)

Recorded live at the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles's Ambassador Hotel (1987), this documentary celebrates the music of the inimitable Roy Orbison (1936–1988). Filmed in black and white, Orbison is joined by an all-star back up band (and admiring colleagues), including Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, T-Bone Burnett, k.d. lang, and others. Orbison had an amazing vocal range in addition to his signature falsetto, an understated and unadorned style that I find refreshing in our in-your-face age, and a knack for writing songs that other people made famous—"Pretty Woman," "Blue Bayou" (Linda Rondstadt's version sold 7–8 million copies), "Only the Lonely," and "Crying." I watched this wonderful performance two different times on public television, and highly recommend it for any baby boomer who ever piled a stack of 45s or 33s on your first record player.

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