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New doc 'Mystery Girl: Unraveled' takes us behind the scenes of Roy Orbison's masterpiece

American singer songwriter Roy Orbison (1936 - 1988). Original Publication: People Disc.
American singer songwriter Roy Orbison (1936 - 1988). Original Publication: People Disc.
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Off-Ramp host John Rabe interviews Alex Orbison, son of the late pop icon Roy Orbison, about "Mystery Girl: Unraveled," a documentary that goes behind the scenes of the recording of "Mystery Girl," Orbison's final album.

In 1988, Roy Orbison, who sang and wrote the mega hits "Only the Lonely" and "Oh, Pretty Woman," was on top of the world.

After decades of undeserved obscurity, he was a pop star again, with his operatic tenor filling the airwaves as a solo act and as a member of the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. Then, in December, Orbison died of a heart attack at 52.

RELATED: Official trailer, "Mystery Girl: Unraveled"

Now, a quarter century later, his son Alex Orbison — who was just 13 when his dad died — directs "Mystery Girl: Unraveled." The film includes videos shot in the studio when Orbison recorded his final album, "Mystery Girl," plus new interviews with Jeff Lynne, Steve Cropper, Jim Keltner, and Tom Petty, to name a few.

(Orbison and a few lads from Liverpool.)

I asked Alex Orbison if he's finally figured out what made his father's singing so special. It's possibly the fact that Orbison was a songwriter and a singer:

"Through the songwriting, he was able to go places where he had never gotten before with the voice, and so he was able to go off the charts and just to go where it was natural for him and start where he started and end where he ended up, and through that he found that magic voice." - Alex Orbison

On May 19th, Legacy Recordings releases a special CD/DVD package that includes the 25th anniversary edition of "Mystery Girl," plus the documentary "Mystery Girl: Unraveled." On Tuesday, May 20, the documentary will be screened at a special program at The Grammy Museum at LA Live.