Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 3 weeks); 1964
Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne
Beginning in 1960, Roy Orbison scored an incredible 15 Top 30 chart songs in four years from Only The Lonely through classics such as Running Scared (#1) and Cryin’ (#2). One evening in 1964 Roy and Bill Dees were running through some ideas at Roy’s house when Roy’s wife, Claudette, announced she was going into town to do some shopping. Roy asked her if she needed any money, at which point Bill interjected, “A pretty woman never needs any money.” Bill thought that would make a darn good song title; Roy voted for just the “pretty woman” part. Forty minutes later, with Roy strumming and Bill drumming the table for rhythm, Oh, Pretty Woman was done, just in time for Claudette’s return. Five weeks after entering the Hot 100 at #27, Woman blew the Animals‘ House Of The Rising Sun out of the top spot: a fitting follow-up to another Orbison/Dees hit record collaboration, It’s Over.
This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.
- Fred Foster
Lyrics Written by:
- Roy Orbison
- Bill Dees