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'Roy Orbison: Black & White Night 30' to premiere March 4 on AETN

Posted 02 Mar 2017

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the legendary televised comeback of Roy Orbison in 'Black & White Night' the Arkansas Educational Television Network will premiere a newly edited and remastered version of the concert Saturday, March 4, at 6:30 p.m.

Originally recorded in 1987 at the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles, 'Black & White Night 30' features Orbison and an all-star lineup of special guests for a never-to-be-repeated evening of rock and roll, filmed entirely in black and white.

When David Lynch's landmark film 'Blue Velvet' was released in 1986, it featured Roy Orbison's 'In Dreams' prominently on the soundtrack. Although Orbison had been out of the limelight for some time, the film helped spark new interest in Orbison's music. On Sept. 30, 1987, Orbison, then 51, staged a remarkable comeback concert with the help of guest musicians whom he had influenced: Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, J.D. Souther, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes. The all-star concert at the Ambassador Hotel's Cocoanut Grove nightclub was turned into a television special and broadcast as 'Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night' the following January, less than a year before the icon's untimely passing.

Because the concert had been shot using seven separate cameras, hundreds of hours of footage went unused and unseen. Roy's youngest son Alex Orbison and his co-editor Luke Chalk have re-edited the entire performance so that while the look will be familiar to those that have seen the original version, the vast majority of footage in 'Roy Orbison: Black & White Night 30' has never been seen by the public. 

The program has also been restored to reflect the correct set order, so that viewers can see Roy, brilliantly backed by Elvis Presley's TCB Band (James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, Jerry Scheff, Ron Tutt), blast through massive Orbison hits such as 'Only the Lonely,' 'In Dreams' and 'Crying' just as the star-studded live audience witnessed them on that very night. 

'Roy Orbison: Black & White Night 30' features classic Orbison songs such as 'Dream Baby,' 'Blue Bayou,' 'The Comedians,' 'Ooby Dooby,' 'Leah,' 'Running Scared,' 'Uptown,' 'Candy Man,' 'Go, Go, Go (Down the Line),' 'Mean Woman Blues,' 'Dream You,' 'Claudette,' 'It's Over' and 'Oh, Pretty Woman.'

'Roy Orbison: Black & White Night 30' will repeat Sunday, March 5, at 10 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 11, at 2:30 p.m.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas's statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).