New signed and unsigned artists from around the world celebrate the life and music of Roy Orbison by recording songs written by the legend. The songs will be available worldwide on iTunes on Saturday, April 23, Orbison’s birthday. To launch the release, several artists will perform their Orbison song at a tribute concert and birthday party at central London’s Gibson Guitar Studio on April 23 beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Some 30 new artists from around the world have recorded their rendition of Orbison classics and other songs. Confirmed performances on the night so far include:
- U.K. singer Rhys Morgan (Sony Music) who sang "After the Love is Gone"
- U.K. singer/songwriter Jamie Hartman recorded "Only the Lonely"
- Jack Bruce’s daughter Aruba Red put a reggae slant on "You Fool You"
- Spencer Gibb (son of Barry Gibb) recorded "In Dreams" – TBC at time of issue
- American band Luna Halo did a rockin’ version of "You’re the One"
- Alex Orbison (Roy’s son) will get up and play drums with some artists
- Billy Burnett of Fleetwood Mac is going to perform "Ooby Dooby"
Other artists who have recorded songs include Norway Pop Idol winner Tone Damli Aaberge, South African band Parlotones, Ben Taylor (son of James Taylor), Peter Anderson (Lucky Dog Records) and Mary N’Diyae (from Sweden). The Carter Twins from America paid homage to both Orbison and The Everly Brothers with their treatment of "Claudette."
Some special guests are also to be announced.
The recent boxset Roy Orbison: The Soul of Rock & Roll will also be made available for the first time on iTunes outside America.
The event is supported by Epiphone in celebration of the upcoming launch the new Epiphone 12 String ‘Pretty Woman’ acoustic guitar – the Epiphone acoustic guitar originally used by Roy when he penned that song. Other sponsors on the night include BMI, Denzyl Feigelson and his team at AWAL (Artists Without A Label).
The idea for the event was conceived by Barbara Orbison and Denzyl Feigelson, who wanted to promote new and emerging talent across the world. Barbara Orbison, who will be present on the night, states, "This is an event that Roy would have loved – to hear new voices sing his songs. Supporting new artistic talent is something we are so happy to do in Roy’s name. I would like to thank all our sponsors and particularly Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson Guitar’s Chairman and CEO for all of his companies’ support."
The Roy Orbison Birthday Bash starts at 6:30 p.m. and is by invitation only.