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Righteous Brothers Biography

Home > Music > R > Righteous Brothers > Biography

Birth Place: Los Angeles, California
Years Active: 1962–1968, 1974–2003
Genres: Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul

The Righteous Brothers were a musical duo consisting of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, who formed in the early 1960's and had a prolific and successful recording career from 1963 through to 1975. Both singers were known for their vocal talent, range and versatility, in particular it was the emotion they were able to express in their music that their fans most deeply connected with. The duo began their music career in 1962 singing in and around Los Angeles as part of the group, The Paramours. However, the duo was not happy with the musical direction of the band and wanted to branch out on their own and explore other musical avenues. In 1963 they dubbed themselves, The Righteous Brothers and were offered a record deal on the small label, Moonglow.

The brothers were not very success on Moonglow and by 1965 they had signed with the Philles label and score a massive hit with the release of, “You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'” that same year. The hit song went on to become one of the most successful pop songs of its time. The song also changed the brothers’ popularity status and made them stars overnight. The duo went on to produce a number of hit singles, such as “Just Once in My Life” and “Unchained Melody.” Around this time, Medley and Hatfield were having issues with manager Phil Spector so they moved on to the Verve/MGM Records, who put out their next single, “You're My Soul and Inspiration” in 1966. The single was a huge success, peaking at #1 in the U.S. After a number of subsequent hit singles, the duo's popularity began to decline and by1968 the brothers went their separate ways. Medley went on to pursue a solo career and Hatfield began playing with Jimmy Walker for a while, however neither amassed the same success that they had achieved as The Righteous Brothers.

1974 saw the duo reunite, sign with Haven Records, and put out the single, “Rock and Roll Heaven,” which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Again the brothers parted ways and Medley continuing on with his solo career, having moderate success in the mid-1980s with hits such as, “Till Your Memory's Gone,” “I Still Do,” and his duet with Jennifer Warnes, “I've Had The Time of My Life,” which earned Medley a Grammy Award and an Oscar. In 1990, “Unchained Melody” was featured in the movie Ghost and Polygram Records re-release the song, which became a hit song all over again the second time around. The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.