Barbara Orbison (Born Barbara Jakobs)
1951 – December 6, 2011
Barbara Orbison is best remembered as the longtime wife of rock ‘n roll pioneer, Roy Orbison. She was also a successful entrepreneur, producer and music publisher. Born in Germany, Barbara Jakobs was just 17 when on July 21, 1968, she met her future husband when he was on tour in Leeds, England. Although Roy was nearly twice her age, the pair married the following year. The couple raised three sons and stayed together until Roy passed away in 1988. During the ’80s, Barbara managed Roy’s career and was instrumental in the revival of his career, serving as Executive Producer for the popular television concert special, Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night, which featured among others, Bruce Springsteen, k.d. lang, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, and Jackson Browne performing alongside Roy. After Roy died, Barbara took over his business dealings and successfully kept his music and image alive for generations to come. Barbara also owned Still Working Music, a publishing company in Nashville, and was very active in philanthropic causes. Barbara Orbison was 60 when she passed away on December 6, 2011 – 23 years to the day after Roy passed away. Cause of death was attributed to cancer.