The Righteous Brothers (1962–1968, 1974–2003)
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The duo got its name before they split from five-piece band, the Paramours. The group was performing "Little Latin Lupe Lu
" (written by Medley) in the Black Derby (Santa Ana, California), when a few African-American Marines entered the club. At the end of the performance, a couple of Marines proclaimed that they were "righteous brothers" - which Medley and Hatfield adopted when they struck out on their own.
In 1964, they opened on the Beatles' US tour, but quit midway through.
Billy Joel inducted them into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2003. At the ceremony, Joel said: Sometimes people with blue eyes transcended the limitations of what their color and culture can actually be. Sometimes white people can actually be soulful. This was a life-changing idea. It changed my life."
Bobby Hatfield died suddenly while on tour on November 5, 2003. He was found in his hotel room just before the duo was supposed to go on stage at Miller Auditorium on the Western Michigan University campus. He was 63. (thanks, Cynthia - Ottawa, Canada)
The Righteous Brothers got a big bump when they became regular guests on the variety show Shindig!, which launched in 1964. It was perfect timing for the duo: they still looked like teenagers (they were in their early 20s), but were seasoned performers with a collection of catchy Pop tunes that played very well to the Shin-diggers. The show was produced in Los Angeles where The Righteous Brothers were based; at first, they didn't realize the broadcasts were reaching a national audience.
In our 2014 interview with Bill Medley
, he talked about working with Phil Spector. "He wasn't difficult for us," said Medley. "I think he probably treated the girls different than he treated us guys, because we were kind of a street group. We were rhythm and blues. Not that Phil was scared of us, but I don't think he wanted to push our button."
Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."