JAMES LEON ORR June 13, 1940 - December 12, 2018 James Leon Orr entered this world June 13, 1940, to Robbie Sykes, when in Michigan visiting relatives. Soon afterwards, Robbie took Jim back to Kentucky. There he was raised by his maternal grandparents, Richard and Leticia Wilson, on their rural farm, while Robbie made fighter planes for the World War II war effort. She married Leon Orr, in 1946, he adopted Jim, naming him James Leon Orr. Most of the thousands of records Jim played on have him as James or Jimmy Orr, two of note are Orbison's "Pretty Woman" and Jimmy Joe Royals "Down in the Boondocks." He invented the special drum licks for both records. It is remembered by his brother, Richie, that he won his first award in the early 1950's, the best picture drawn of his version of what the Purple People Eater, of the record by that name, looked like. He made the papers and everything! Jim's spirit is carried on by his son, James Jr. (deceased); daughter, Cindy Dunn; his stepson, Jason Malcolm; along with two brothers, Richie and his wife, Marsha, and Larry. Jim's fourth wife, Paula and her children, Kenneth and Kimberly, are also carrying him in their memories. Add to these his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, an extensive family of relations, co-workers and friends, from every walk of life; one realizes how many people he touched. Jim peacefully died at his home in Las Vegas, of congestive heart disease, Dec. 12, 2018. There will be a celebration of his life in February. Obituary and celebration are all according to his wishes. He will be greatly missed, but his great love in life, his music, is heading into the known universe on both Voyagers I and II. He, and his friends, will sing and play forever to the sentient peoples of the stars.
Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on Feb. 10, 2019.