Roy Orbison sings Pretty Woman on Japanese Television

I was raised on the Oldies. When you’re growing up, you listen to what your parents listen to, and my folks spent the 80s listening to the 50s through to the early 70s (and even then, the later stuff was strictly in my father’s company). Until the Fourth Grade I used to wonder why the Beatles didn’t put out new albums. Anyway, I love classic rock, and YouTube is a tremendous tool for tracking down the old hits.

I came across this clip a couple of years ago, and it’s become a firm favourite. Roy Orbison was one of the original world-wide musical sensations, back when the division between Country and Rock and Roll and Pop were still indistinct. He actually headlined for the Beatles for the opening half of their first American tour, then, after Beatlesmania took the word by storm, he graciously gave them the top of the marquee.

I think most people know the song Pretty Woman, but what makes this clip special is the introduction: He’s in Japan, and he’s being introduced by two Japanese women who obviously speak only very rudimentary English. You can just feel from their staccato delivery that they’ve memorized and rehearsed their lines phonetically at great length prior to the show, and Roy’s gallant, “I would gladly play, anytime, for two such pretty women,” can’t help but bring a smile to my face every time I hear it. Enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Roy Orbison sings Pretty Woman on Japanese Television

  1. Salem

    I have an ongoing conversation with an old boomer friend on who had the greatest voice in the rock genre — Orbison (me) or Presley (him). I think I have more of the critics on my side, for what it’s worth. You may know of his excruciatingly painful life with the loss of a wife and child, a late career return after being embraced as a mentor by the biggest names in rock on his fine last album and then an absurdly early death just when he was really returning. Not fair. But he’ll endure.

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