The Righteous Brothers

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About The Righteous Brothers

When they first hit the radio in the ’60s, The Righteous Brothers were such faithful adherents to the R&B sound that DJs were shocked to learn they were white guys from Orange County, California. Thus, the term “blue-eyed soul” was invented, after deep baritone Bill Medley and high tenor Bobby Hatfield broke off from harmony group The Paramours to play R&B covers in 1962. In fact, the name they adopted as a duo was a similar validation of their skill, given to them by Black clubgoers who’d praise their show as “righteous, brother.” It was a cosign they made the most of: By 1964, The Righteous Brothers had cracked the R&B airwaves with their rollicking “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” opened for The Beatles, and teamed up with Phil Spector. The latter’s legendary Wall of Sound production soaked their soaring voices in orchestral grandeur and gospel-derived depth while they sang viscerally of heartache on “You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," which became the most-played track on U.S. radio all the way up to 2019. The pair quickly followed up with more larger-than-life romantic balladry, including 1965’s “Unchained Melody” and 1966’s “(You're My) Soul and Inspiration," both produced by Medley in Spector's style. Despite their knack for making timeless songs together, Medley went solo in 1968 while Hatfield carried on the name with The Knickerbockers’ Jimmy Walker on low end. The original Righteous Brothers first reunited in 1974 to release “Rock and Roll Heaven,” a tribute to late icons like Otis Redding. Until Hatfield himself passed away in 2003, the duo recorded and toured intermittently, dusting off their powerful pipes to stoke nostalgia not only for their own songs, but the soul-stirring R&B that inspired The Righteous Brothers into existence in the first place.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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