The Righteous Brothers were the highly acclaimed pop/soul duo, Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield (August 10, 1940 - November 5, 2003), that became famous during the mid-late 1960s. They began performing together in 1962 as members of The Paramours, a vocal quintet based in Santa Ana, CA which disbanded in 1963. During one of their performances at a local bar, a black marine in the audience shouted out after one of their duets,
That was righteous, brothers! which inspired the duo's new moniker. Hatfield's soaring tenor and Medley's sonorous baritone complemented each other perfectly to create a distinctive emotive vocal style that made them one of pop music's quintessential blue-eyed soul acts.
The Righteous Brothers made their chart debut in 1963 with the Medley-penned "Little Latin Lupe Lu." Several minor hits followed before their fame took off in 1964 with the chart-topping "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" co-written and produced by Phil Spector. A long string of hits followed thereafter that also included "Unchained Melody" (1965), "Just Once In My Life" (1965), "Ebb Tide" (1965), and the chart-topping "(You're My) Soul And Inspiration" (1966). "Unchained Melody" went on to become the song for which The Righteous Brothers are best known today due to its being featured over the years in numerous films and TV shows. After this lush romantic ballad was famously showcased in the 1990 blockbuster movie, "Ghost," both the original version and a new recording made later that year after the movie's release recharted into the Pop/Rock Top 40, with the original version also topping the Adult Contemporary charts.
After The Righteous Brothers disbanded in 1968, Medley went on to pursue a solo career. He had several Top 40 hits on the Country charts during the mid 1980s, and his long string of Pop/Rock hits culminated in 1987 with the chart-topping "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" performed as a duet with Jennifer Warnes. Hatfield teamed up with Jimmy Walker of The Knickerbockers using The Righteous Brothers name and recorded one album before disbanding in 1971. Hatfield also released several solo recordings and had a minor hit in 1969 with his cover of The Platters' "Only You (And You Alone)." Hatfield and Medley reunited in 1974 as The Righteous Brothers and had several more hits that included "Rock And Roll Heaven," which made the Pop/Rock Top 10 that year, before disbanding again in 1976. The duo reunited again in 1981 under The Righteous Brothers name and continued to record and perform together until Hatfield's passing in 2003.
The Righteous Brothers many honors and accolades include being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Medley reformed The Righteous Brothers in 2016 with Bucky Heard, and they continue to perform as a duo.
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The Righteous Brothers perform "Turn On Your Love Light" on The Ed Sullivan Show (November 7, 1965).
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The Righteous Brothers
- Dream On 1974
- Ebb Tide 1965
(This song was also a hit for Frank Chacksfield (1953, instrumental), Vic Damone (1953), Roy Hamilton (1954, 1959), Bobby Freeman (1959), the Platters (1960), and Lenny Welch (1964).)
- Go Ahead And Cry 1966
- He 1966
(This song was previously a hit for Al Hibbler (1955) and the McGuire Sisters (1955).)
- Just Once In My Life 1965
- Rock And Roll Heaven 1974
- (You're My) Soul And Inspiration 1966
(This song topped the charts and later also became a hit for Donny & Marie Osmond (1978).)
- Unchained Melody 1965
(Although "Unchained Melody" previously topped the charts for Les Baxter in 1955, this famous love song has, over the years, become indelibly associated with the Righteous Brothers whose version is considered by many to be the definitive one. This song was also a hit for Al Hibbler (1955), Roy Hamilton (1955), June Valli (1955), Vito & the Salutations (1963), the Sweet Inspirations (1968) and Heart (1981). "Unchained Melody" was part of the soundtrack for the 1990 movie, "Ghost," and recharted for the Righteous Brother that same year.)
- You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' 1964
(This oldies classic topped the charts and later also became a hit for Dionne Warwick (1969), Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway (1971), Long John Baldry & Kathi MacDonald (1979), and Daryl Hall & John Oates (1980). "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" is ranked at #34 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.)
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