1962 – 2003 (41 years)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
The Righteous Brothers were the musical duo of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield. They recorded from 1963 through 1975, and continued to perform live until Hatfield's death in 2003. Their emotive vocal stylings were sometimes dubbed "blue-eyed soul."
They adopted their name in 1962 while performing together around Los Angeles, USA as part of a five-member group called The Paramours, which featured John Wimber (who was much later one of the founders of the Vineyard Movement) on keyboards.
Hatfield and Medley both possessed exceptional vocal talent, with range, control, and tone that helped them create a strong and distinct duet sound (and perform as soloists). Medley sang the low parts with his deep, soulful baritone, with Hatfield taking the higher register vocals with his soaring tenor. They gained their name when an African-American Marine shouted out "That was righteous, brothers" at the end of a show. John Wimber, one of the founding leaders of the Vineyard Movement, played the keyboard in the band.
Their first major hit single was "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" in 1965. Produced by Phil Spector, the record is often cited as one of the peak expressions of Spector's Wall of Sound production techniques. It was one of the most successful pop singles of its time, despite exceeding the standard length for radio play. Indeed, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" remains the most played song in radio history, estimated to have been broadcast over 8 million times to date. A little known fact about this song was that Spector utilized Sonny and Cher as back-up singers.
Soul and Inspiration was produced by Bill Medley for Verve Records. Phil Spector was not involved with this recording in any way, shape or form. Also, although it is credited to Phil Spector, Bill Medley produced "Unchained Melody". Medley produced the B-Side for the singles and Spector handled the production work on the A-Side. The A-Side for "Unchained Melody" was the single "Hung on You" produced by Phil Spector although it was the B-Side that ended up being the hit.
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