Kept husband's legacy alive while developing new artists

Barbara Orbison, widow of rock n’ roll pioneer Roy Orbison and owner of music publisher Still Working Music, died from pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Dec. 7, the 23rd anniversary of her husband’s death. She was 60.

Since the 1980s, Barbara Orbison managed her husband’s estate and kept his legacy alive, while her company, Nashville-based Still Working Music, focused on the development of songwriters, artists and producers. It was awarded BMI’s 2010 Song of the Year for Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.”

With her son, Roy Kelton Orbison Jr., she co-produced a four-CD box set of her husband’s 107 recordings. “Roy Orbison: The Soul of Rock and Roll” was released in 2008 and contains all of his hits and 12 previously unreleased tracks.

The package marked the first all-inclusive body of Roy Orbison’s work from his earliest recordings to the Traveling Wilburys’ debut album, “Mystery Girl” and his last live performance. Roy Orbison died in 1988 at age 52.

In addition to Roy Jr., Barbara Orbison is survived by sons Wesley and Alexander.

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