Two names that never seems to get a mention when fans discuss Orion's record releases are that of Betty M. Cherry and Gayle Allen. Never heard of them? Then dig out those old Sun albums and take a look again at the covers. Each album features one of the following credits:
"Cover art by Betty M. Cherry"
"Cover art by Gayle Allen"
Much of the credit for the Orion legend goes to Jimmy Ellis/Gail Brewer Georgio and Shelby Singleton, but what about the other people who helped create that image.
Sadly Betty is no longer with us but credit must be given to her unique meditation centred design talent for producing those and other great album covers, some of which can be seen on this page. There's no doubt they catch the eye and Betty was the designer responsible for the controversial "coffin" cover on Orion's first album release.
Betty has also been credited as the designer of the Orion face masks, of which there were said to be twelve different designs although it is evident there were more than this number and Orion himself has quoted there were twenty.
The Orion covers Betty is known to have designed are:
REBORN (Both "coffin" and "blue" versions)
and the Australian album SUN ROCKS ON
it is likely more Orion covers were the work
of Betty Cherry but cannot be confirmed
at this time.
BETTY CHERRY 1939 - 2006
Photo kindly supplied by family
Betty C. Blankers
Betty Cherry-Blankers, 66, of Nashville, TN, died March 7, 2006.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 14, at 11 a.m. at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville with Rev. Amelia Canon officiating. Burial was in the Germantown Cemetery in Athens, AL. Woodbine Funeral Home, Inc. was in charge.
Betty Mae Cherry, the daughter of Howard T. Cherry and Delia Bowers Cherry, was born October 3, 1939 in Nashville, TN. She grew up in the Una area. She attended Antioch High School, MTSC, and later Martin College in Pulaski completing a Chr. Ed Diploma in 1959. In 1963 she received a B.A. in Art at Peabody College and was employed as an artist by Yellow Pages. Later employed in the music industry, she designed LP album covers and program notes. She designed Dolly Parton's "Butterfly" album cover and drew designs for several silkscreen shirt printers. She made jewelry, studied metaphysics, was active in Alanon and Angel Women's Support Group. She sang in the symphony chorus, played viola in the Nashville Community Orchestra, and wrote fiction.