Het is vandaag ook al vijftig jaar geleden dat Claudette Frady, de eerste echtgenote van Roy Orbison is overleden.
Claudette Frady was born on September 5, 1941, in Odessa, Texas. Sixteen years later Roy Orbison was playing with The Teen Kings in Memphis and Roy asked her to be his girlfriend. They stayed together in Sam Phillips’s home, sleeping in separate rooms, but in the same year (1957) they marry. Orbison wrote and sold the song “Claudette” in 1958 to The Everly Brothers and it appeared on the B-side of their smash hit “All I Have to Do Is Dream”.
His marriage to Claudette was sweet and sour. He was away from home for long stretches at a time, she was alone, bored and depressed because of the untimely death of her best friend, country singer Patsy Cline (March 5, 1963). She reportedly also had an affair with a building contractor. In trying to save his marriage, Roy took her and their son Roy jr. with him for a tour in Britain with The Beatles. Op de foto: on Roy’s 28th birthday (April 23, 1964) Claudette feeds Beatle John Lennon a slice of cake as Ringo Starr, Roy and 6 year-old Roy Jr. stand witness.
Later that year, Roy was writing with his partner Bill Dees at his home when Claudette came in and said she was to go into town to buy something. Orbison asked if she needed any money, and Dees cracked, “A pretty woman never needs any money.” Inspired, Orbison started singing, “Pretty woman walking down the street.” Forty minutes later, “Oh, Pretty Woman” was completed. The single sold over seven million copies. Still, it didn’t help: they were divorced in November 1964. Als antecedent van Dylans belijdenislyriek schrijft Orbison dan het nummer “Crawling back” (“ik wil wel op mijn knieën naar je toe komen kruipen”) dat het beoogde effect bereikt: Claudette komt terug and they remarry the following August (1965).
While touring in England again in March 1966 Roy was nearly killed in a motorcycle accident. He broke an ankle and performed the rest of the tour seated on a stool . Three months later in 1966, he was back riding motorcycles with Claudette, when suddenly a truck driver pulled out in front of her. She died in his arms an hour later at the age of twenty-five. Roy mourned her with the song “Too Soon To Know“.
(Bronnen: Wikipedia, Avengers in Time, Loose the Boyfriend, The Wise Old Owl & Femme Fatale)