Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The daughter of a wealthy West German industrialist who had been appointed his country's consul to Panama, seventeen-year-old Barbara Jakobs knew practically nothing about Roy Orbison when they were introduced in Leeds, England during Orbison's 1968 tour of Britain. They married in March of 1969 in Nashville, Tennessee where they lived until moving to Malibu, California in 1985. They had two sons, Roy Kelton Orbison, Jr. born in 1970 and Alexander Orbie Lee Orbison born in 1975 who is a drummer with the band, White Starr .
During the 1980s, Barbara Orbison managed her husband's career and was the Executive Producer of his 1987 album, In Dreams: The Greatest Hits plus his highly acclaimed January 1988 televised music special, Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night.
Following her husband's untimely passing in December of 1988, she took charge of his business affairs and has dedicated herself to promoting his music to ensuing generations. She worked with friend and fellow artist Jeff Lynne to put together the posthumous release of the King of Hearts album in 1992 as well as other record projects. Barbara Orbison co-produced "Only the Lonely: The Roy Orbison Story," a European stage musical.
In late 1993 the family home was destroyed by brush fires that swept through her property and that of many others in the Malibu area. Although she maintains a residence on the West Coast, Orbison returned to Nashville where she purchased a home as well as a commercial property to house her music publishing business. Her company, "Still Working Music," employs songwriters such as Tommy Lee James and Billy Burnette .
Orbison has been involved with charitable causes in aid of the homeless. For HBO's Showtime, in 1991 she produced a Roy Orbison tribute at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles that raised in excess of $1 million for the city's homeless. In addition, she personally funds "Orbison House," a 21-unit residence for the mentally impaired homeless of Los Angeles.
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