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Colleagues to share insights on Roy Orbison

January 25, 2008

Roy Orbison lives on in many people’s hearts, especially those who worked with him or his music. Some of those professionals, including filmmakers Zalman King and Carolyn Pfieffer, and songwriters Bill Dees and Joe Melson, will be on ASU’s Tempe campus from noon to 4 p.m., Jan. 26 to discuss Orbison’s life, his music and its cultural impact.

The Saturday afternoon symposium, which is free and open to the public, is hosted by professor Peter Lehman, director of ASU’s Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Part of “A Tribute to Roy Orbison,” the symposium will be held in ASU’s Student Services Building Amphitheater on the Tempe campus. Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. More information at (480) 727-9866 or

“These panel discussions will shed light on Roy Orbison’s music and persona, exploring the work and style of this mysterious man,” says Lehman, author of “Roy Orbison: The Invention of an Alternative Rock Masculinity.”

The first panel features professionals who worked with Orbison, including songwriters Dees, who collaborated with Orbison on “It’s Over,” “Oh, Pretty Woman”, “Goodnight” and “Ride Away,” and Melson, who co-wrote such hits as “Only the Lonely,” “Running Scared,” “Crying” and “Blue Bayou.”

Other panelists include:

• Howard Kramer, curatorial director at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
• Zalman King, film and television writer and director who was executive producer of the 1980 film “Roadie,” which features a duet of “That Lovin’ You Feelin’ Again” recorded by Orbison and Emmylou Harris.
• Carolyn Pfieffer, film producer of “Roadie.”
• Kim Scharnberg, arranger of “Suite on the Tunes of Roy Orbison.”
• Jeff Scheftel, videographer of “Video Tribute to Roy Orbison.”

The second panel discussion is about “Roy Orbison: His Music, Career, Fans and Legacy.” Panelists and the titles of their 15-minute presentations are:

• Clint Felker, psychologist, “Psychological Traits of Roy Orbison and His Fans: Only the Lonely?”
• Joshua Gunn, professor, University of Texas at Austin, “The Big O: A Psychoanalytic Account of Roy Orbison’s Voice.”
• Ab Roos, a Dutch fan and collector, “Roy Orbison in Europe.”
• David A. Shoenfelt, photographer, “Photographing Roy Orbison in Concert.”

Erica Velasco,
(480) 965-1156
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences