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Songwriter Bill Dees, co-writer of “Oh, Pretty Woman,” dies at 73

Published: November 1, 2012 | 9:15 am
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Singer-composer Bill Dees, best known for his songwriting collaboration with Roy Orbison on the hits “Oh, Pretty Woman” and “It’s Over,” has died at age 73 in Mountain Home, Arkansas, according to an obituary posted online by a local funeral home.

Dees, a Texas native who got his start in the 1950s with a high school band called the Five Bops, is credited with writing scores of songs in all, some recorded by such performers as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Glen Campbell.

But Dees’ most fruitful collaboration was his work with fellow Texan Orbison, with whom he teamed up to write Orbison’s signature hit, “Oh, Pretty Woman,” which was featured years later in the soundtrack to the movie “Pretty Woman,” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

The band Van Halen also scored a hit with a cover version of “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

Other Orbison tunes Dees co-wrote included “It’s Over,” “Crawling Back,” “Communication Breakdown,” “Walk On,” “Windsurfer” and “So This Is Love.”

Dees died last week, on October 24, at Mountain Home, where he had lived since 1989, according to an announcement posted on the website of the Kirby & Family Funeral Home, where a memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, November 3.


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