Bill MedleyView In iTunes
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Best known as the Righteous Brother with the rich baritone, Bill Medley grew up surrounded by music: his father led a band and played saxophone, while his mother sang and played piano. Medley himself sang in his church choir as a boy, with the glee club in high school, and in the early '60s in his band the Paramours. Soon after, Medley began singing with Bobby Hatfield as the Righteous Brothers, a partnership that spawned hits like "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Unchained Melody." When the duo parted ways in 1968, Medley pursued a solo career, scoring hits such as "Brown-Eyed Woman" and releasing albums like Soft and Soulful, Nobody Knows, and A Song for You. Medley reunited with Hatfield in 1974, then took a five-year break from performing in 1976. However, he continued to record throughout the '80s, scoring his most notable hit with the Grammy Award-winning number one single "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," a duet with Jennifer Warnes taken from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Meanwhile, the Righteous Brothers' popularity rose again thanks to the inclusion of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" on the Top Gun soundtrack and "Unchained Melody" on the Ghost soundtrack; Medley and Hatfield responded by reuniting again and touring the oldies circuit, which they continued to play throughout the '90s. Medley still found time for his solo career, releasing albums such as 1996's Christmas Memories and the following year's Almost Home, while living with his family in Newport Beach. A decade later -- and four years after the death of his fellow Righteous Brother Hatfield -- Medley returned with Damn Near Righteous, which featured cameos by Brian Wilson, Phil Everly, and Medley's daughter McKenna. A live set, recorded in Branson, followed in 2009. In early 2014, he released Your Heart to Mine: Dedicated to the Blues, a stripped-down and wonderfully emotional balanced tribute to some of the R&B and blues artists who influenced Medley and Hatfield at the start of their careers, a set exhibiting Medley's signature baritone singing, now hoarsened and worn by age into an almost even more soulful vocal vehicle. ~ Heather Phares & Steve Leggett