That immediately inspired Orbison to start singing, "pretty woman, walking down the street." As he sang, Bill Dees was banging his hand on the table. From the moment the rhythm started, he could hear the heels clicking in his head, as the pretty woman walked down the street!
In his mind's eye, the pretty woman was wearing a yellow skirt and red shoes. Dees says, that iconic growl, mercy, was based on a favourite expression of his. He always used it as a way of expressing his approval for a good meal or at the sight of a beautiful woman.
The yeah yeah yeah, was borrowed from the Beatles – they had recently had a hit with She Loves You (yeah yeah yeah.)
Oh Pretty Woman was written on a Friday. By the following Friday it was being recorded and the Friday after that, it was released as a single.
As the record was climbing the charts, Orbison discovered that Claudette had been cheating on him. They'd had some tough times but he thought they had sorted their problems out. He filed for divorce.
In 1966, the couple remarried but just two months later, Claudette was killed in a motor cycle accident.
Tragedy struck for Roy Orbison again, in 1968, when his two eldest sons died in a house fire.
Oh Pretty Woman reached No. 1 in ten countries in 1964 - 1965. It has been covered many times by artists such as: Al Green, John Mellencamp, Connie Francis, Sharleen Spiteri, Andy Kim, Westlife, The Overtones and others.
Awards and accolades for Oh Pretty Woman include a posthumous Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (for Orbison's live recording of the song on his TV special, Roy Orbison and Friends.)
It was named as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, and Rolling Stone magazine ranked it #222 on their list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
In 1990, Oh Pretty Woman was featured on the soundtrack of the film, Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.