Bill Medley, the deep-voiced half of the legendary blue-eyed soul duo The Righteous Brothers, turns 80 this Saturday, September 19.
With his late singing partner Bobby Hatfield, Medley scored a series of major hits during the mid-1960s, including the classics “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” and “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965 and ’66, respectively.
The Righteous Brothers also reached the top five in 1965 with “Unchained Melody” and “Ebb Tide,” both sung by Hatfield. Medley produced a number of the duo’s recordings, including “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration” and “Unchained Melody.”
The Righteous Brothers broke up in 1968, but reunited during the mid-1970s for a few years. In 1974, the duo scored a #3 hit with “Rock and Roll Heaven.” After another breakup, Medley and Hatfield reunited again in 1981 and continued to perform together until Bobby death’s in 2003. Months before Hatfield died, The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile, in 1987, Bill teamed up with Jennifer Warnes for the chart-topping duet “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, which appeared in the popular film Dirty Dancing. Medley and Warnes won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the tune, which also nabbed the Oscar for Best Original Song.
According to performing-rights organization BMI, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” was the most-played song on U.S. radio and television during the 20th century, notching more than eight million airplays by the end of 1999.
In 2016, Medley relaunched The Righteous Brothers with Bucky Heard taking over the high harmonies for Hatfield. The duo’s has been performing a series of streaming pay-per-view concerts this month, with tickets available at TheSpaceLV.com.
By Matt Friedlander
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