Celebrating Roy Orbison’s birth date April 23

Roy Orbison’s influence is immeasurable – he gave so much. Join me in celebrating his birth date today by playing some of his music or watching some of his clips. You won’t be lonely!

Marcel Riesco - Orbison 1964

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The alluring 90 year old Wink High School building Roy Orbison attended has been demolished

Marcel Riesco - Wink School 1b

The amazing building stood tall and strong for 90 years in the West Texas town of Wink, home of the Wink Wildcats “1952 Class A Champs,” and Roy Orbison.

Wink is flat but full of a very strong vibe. You can feel the energy there, and really sense it’s been a busy place once upon a time. Wind and sandstorms are a permanent feature in a town where tumbleweeds fly across the wide empty streets. As you can probably guess there’s little vegetation there, whereas in a nearby town called Notrees you’ll find more trees than in Wink.

It was almost no-man’s land, until black gold was found there in the summer of 1926, and this caused such a boom that a mayhem of roughnecks and gangsters invaded the newly formed shack town.  This phenomenon also brought along bootlegging, prostitution and gambling, and the city government was overtaken by a well-organized underworld of trouble makers. It was a real tough western town and the need was such that the first municipal building was the jail.

After the proposed name of Winkler was rejected because it was already taken somewhere else in Texas, citizens shortened the name to Wink in hopes they would obtain the Winkler County seat, but the honor went to the only other city, Kermit.  Through the years though, Wink straighten out and honest working families prevailed. The construction of a school was an necessity for the hundreds of children that roamed the streets both day and night while their parents were at work in the oil fields or working in the busy city center which had with a movie theater, several grocery stores and drugstores, gas stations, and five hospitals.

The alluring brick school mission-styled building was inaugurated in 1929, with colored ceramic and clay tiles decorating the roofs and parapets. It was certainly impressive. Roy Orbison started fifth grade there in the late summer of 1946, and by 1949 he was playing guitar with a friend by the name of James Morrow. This evolved into forming the Wink Westerners with other school buddies Billy Pat Ellis, Richard West and Charles Evans. Roy’s musical career started at the Wink school.

The school building was part of Roy’s everyday life, and he was deeply involved in all activities there until graduating in 1954 – from football to singing choirs, Roy did it all.

The school is gone now and I was fortunate enough to tour the inside of the building with Superintendent Scotty Carman, son of 1952 Class A champ Charles Carman, a few months before demolition. What a special moment that was.

Memories will remain.

Marcel Riesco

Here is the cafeteria stage where the Wink Westerners used to perform. The stage was later turned into a trophy showcase:

 

Marcel Riesco - Wink School 2b

 

Ameripolitan Awards in Memphis, Tennessee

We are heading to Memphis, Tennessee towards the end of the month for the Ameripolitan Awards taking place at the Graceland Guesthouse. We are honored to have been nominated for Best Rockabilly Male and will be performing on Sunday, February 24 with The Great Dale Watson. Awards take place on Monday, February 25.

All info here: https://www.ameripolitan.com/

Great weekend of rockin’ music!. Get your tickets here:

https://ameripolitan-awards.ticketleap.com/ameripolitan-awards/

ameripolitan

The Authorized Roy Orbison – 1 year Anniversary

Published 1 year ago today!

Written by Alex Orbison, Roy Jr., Wesley Orbison, with narrative by Jeff Slate and concept, curation and research by Marcel Riesco.

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“The Authorized Roy Orbison”

The first ever official Roy Orbison biography, The Authorized Roy Orbison, is out now. Written by Roy’s sons Alex, Wesley and Roy Orbison Jr, with extensive research work by Marcel Riesco and all put into a beautiful narrative by journalist Jeff Slate, featuring also never-before-seen amazing photographs.

Years of research work by Marcel Riesco went into this superb coffee table style book revealing the life and career of The Big O. The book also presents the official Orbison US discography by Riesco.

PS: cool overview on The Tennessean here

Get it from amazon here, or the official Roy Orbison website here.

authorized roy orbison 2

The inspiration to Roy Orbison’s “Rockhouse” revealed!

marcel_riesco_monahans

The Archway Club in Monahans, Texas is the real inspiration to “Rockhouse,” Roy Orbison’s second single with Sun Records. Roy played the Archway numerous times with his Wink Westerners, then with the Teen Kings and then with different pickup bands well into the Monument days when this club changed its name to the Permian Club.

“Rockhouse” has become a rockabilly anthem.

Get the “Authorized Roy Orbison” here:

https://www.amazon.com/Authorized-Roy-Orbison-Alex/dp/1478976543

At the location for the Traveling Wilburys “Handle With Care” video

Finding the location of the Travelin Wilburys video “Handle With Care”

This is an amazing place. Ever since I first saw this video clip in late 1988 or early 1989, I was mesmerized by it. Everything about it was so cool, and through this song is how I totally got the Orbison spell.

When I started the research for the Authorized Roy Orbison, I got my mind set on finding the shooting location for this video clip. It was hard though. I knew it was in Los Angeles, of course, where else? I heard Jeff Lynne mention it was downtown near Union Station, and I drove around for years looking for a place that resembled this to no avail. One day I got lucky: found a person who had worked during the shooting of the video. Yes! A person that was there that day and was getting rid of his precious poster which he got signed by the Wilburys on the day the video was shot. This person revealed the location to me, ballpark, but I found it eventually.

It was a thrill I will never forget. The place where “Handle with Care” was shot, wow! I got real chicken skin looking into this warehouse and realizing where I was. I was looking at it with my own eyes, and it looked exactly the same. It was unreal. But this is the kind of stuff we did while doing research for the book, and a lot of glorious moments came out of this.

The exact location is revealed in the book itself, but I can tell you that the Traveling Wilburys poster signed on the day of the shooting of “Handle with Care” is one of my most precious Orbison collectible items.

Warehouse picture ©Marcel Riesco, please do not copy/Traveling Wilburys screenshot taken from the video of “Handle with Care” for reference only © Wilbury Records.

Watch the video here:

For more Wilburys and Orbison, please check out The Authorized Roy Orbison here.