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The Righteous Brothers

They weren't brothers, but Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield (both born in 1940) were most definitely righteous, defining (and perhaps even inspiring) the term "blue-eyed soul" in the mid-'60s. The white Southern California duo were an established journeyman doo wop/R&B act before an association with Phil Spector produced one of the most memorable hits of the 1960s, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." The collaboration soon fell apart, though, and while the singers had some other excellent hit singles in a similar style, they proved unable to sustain their momentum after just a year or two at the top.

When Medley and Hatfield combined forces in 1962, they emerged from regional groups the Paramours and the Variations; in fact, they kept the Paramours billing for their first single. By 1963, they were calling themselves the Righteous Brothers, Medley taking the low parts with his smoky baritone, Hatfield taking the higher tenor and falsetto lines. For the next couple of years they did quite a few energetic R&B tunes on the Moonglow label that bore similarity to the gospel/soul/rock style of Ray Charles, copping their greatest success with "Little Latin Lupe Lu," which became a garage-band favorite covered by Mitch Ryder, the Kingsmen, and others.

Even on the Moonglow recordings, Bill Medley acted as producer and principal songwriter, but the duo wouldn't break out nationally until they put themselves at the services of Phil Spector. Spector gave the Wall of Sound treatment to "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," a grandiose ballad penned by himself, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil. At nearly four minutes, the song was pushing the limits of what could be played on radio in the mid-'60s, and some listeners thought they were hearing a 45 single played at 33 rpm due to Medley's low, blurry lead vocal. No matter; the song had a power that couldn't be denied, and went all the way to number one.

The Righteous Brothers had three more big hits in 1965 on Spector's Philles label ("Just Once in My Life," "Unchained Melody," and "Ebb Tide"), all employing similar dense orchestral arrangements and swelling vocal crescendos. Yet the Righteous Brothers-Spector partnership wasn't a smooth one, and by 1966 the duo had left Philles for a lucrative deal with Verve. Medley, already an experienced hand in the producer's booth, reclaimed the producer's chair, and the Righteous Brothers had another number one hit with their first Verve outing, "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration." Its success must have been a particularly bitter blow for Spector, given that Medley successfully emulated the Wall of Sound orchestral ambience of the Righteous Brothers' Philles singles down to the smallest detail, even employing the same Mann-Weil writing team that had contributed to "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." It's a bit of a mystery as to why the Righteous Brothers never came close to duplicating that success during the rest of their tenure at Verve. But they would only have a couple of other Top 40 hits in the 1960s ("He" and "Go Ahead and Cry," both in 1966), even with the aid of occasional compositions by the formidable Goffin-King team. In 1968 Medley left for a solo career; Hatfield, the less talented of the pair (at least from a songwriting and production standpoint), kept the Righteous Brothers going with Jimmy Walker (who had been in the Knickerbockers).

Medley had a couple of small hits in the late '60s as a solo act, but unsurprisingly neither "brother" was worth half as much on their own as they were together. In 1974 they reunited and had a number three hit with "Rock and Roll Heaven," a tribute to dead rock stars that some found tacky. A couple of smaller hits followed before Medley retired from performing for five years in 1976. The Righteous Brothers continued to tour the oldies circuit off and on in the 1980s and 1990s. It was while on one of these tours that Bobby Hatfield died suddenly on November 5, 2003. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
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Comments

Love this song.
Unchained Melody is my fave song by The Righteous Bros.
Ghost....my movie
Will always be our song. <3 T & P
A love song for the ages!
Good melody you loved more passion i love music
t_heath
Great love song......
Who doesn't love this?
this is a great memory,and of course great music.thanks !
"ghost" love it! *,* there it is! <3
I Love This Song and the good times it brings back Great Love Song . Righteous Brothers
I remember this song wen I was dateing My Girl Friend Loved it we slow dance at a Church Social Her Dad was keeping a sharp eye on his baby girl she was 15 I was 17
I love this song was the song for my Wedding
What about I've had the Time of My Life? That was Bill Medley, yes?
Love this song
Love this Song! I love all the music so Great!!!!!!!
Omg I love this song and the movie Ghost, where this song played, like omg!!
this song is hard to sing at Karoke time !!!
I was just !!!! looking too for the words and wondering why their gone ??
califsquaw
Does anyone know how to get the words back for the song's
An unbeatable duo!
Lo Great Song. Great Singing .i Love this Song
Beautiful
I really love this song
The BEST EVER
redgate93
A song even rhythmically challenged white guys can dance to
Best LOVE song ever!!
Beautifull Love Song. Charles Joseph
engelyesenia
Always makes my tears come out.
Best song deep into your heart
jamempress23
I may have to pick this as our first dance song
Love to hear these guys sing
16 years of age and loving this kind of music now this is music not the new garbage teens listen to now a days
This song mesmerizes the senses. It digs deep into your heart and brings back that one true love carried for so long........ e v e n if you don't love the guy anymore! Memories that won't ever be forgotten. That's what it brings.
It's a shame kids today don't appreciate this true music
This song is a masterpiece of how a ballad is sung!
Yes
great goodbye song to the world
RIP Patrick Swayzee
blueyedmom00 7
Unchained Melody, this song is so emotional. Great slow dance tune.
Love it
ps114canarsi e
Simply the best.
Molly...... You in trouble girl........ S a m Wheat says to Oda Mae Brown in Ghost
This is a Great Song The Righteous Brothers Are So Good!!!!!
I'm waiting all my Life for my true Love to come along. I'm always gonna true Love till I die Big Daddt
I love this song so much it's made me cry
Wow, this takes me, a 61 year young man, so far back in time...blows me away.
Oh my freaking god this is me and my Moms FAVORITE F**KING SONG
My Favorite Love This Song!!
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