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    Medley, Bill (19th September 1940-Present)

    He is a singer-songwriter and producer born William Thomas Medley in Santa Ana, California, to a musical family where his father was a saxophonist and led a band and his mother was a pianist and singer.  He went to school in Santa Ana where he sang in glee clubs and Presbyterian choirs and took his further studies at the California State University, Long Beach.  He also entered several amateur talent contests.

     

    While at university he had his own band called The Paramours but after meeting up with the singer Bobby Hatfield, who also had his own group, they joined together in 1962 and became the duo known as The Righteous Brothers.  “Little Latin Lupe Lu”, which he wrote, was their first single release which reached No. 49 in the US, but in 1964 they got together with the producer Phil Spector who produced their first hit “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” which brought them attention and stormed to the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.  It has since been named the most played song on radio in history.

     

    They went on to have several further No. 1 hit with “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiraton” and other Top 10 hits that include “Ebb Tide” “Just Once In My Life” and “Unchained Melody”, which went to No. 1 in the UK in 1990 after being re-released.  In total they had in excess of 20 chart hits from 1963 to 1963 to 1992 (including a few re-released songs).

     

    In 1968 he and Bobby Hatfield went their own separate ways and he released his own Top 50 hits in the US which were Brown Eyed Woman” and “Peace, Brother, Peace”.  He also released his album Bill Medley 100%.  The following year saw his Soft and Soulful and he made an appearance at the Festival Internacional da Cancao in Rio De Janeiro where he won 2nd place with a performance of the song “Evie”.

     

    In 1974 he got back together with Bobby Hatfield and the duo released with the hit song “Rock and Roll Heaven” which reached No. 3 in the US.  He continued to tour with the Righteous Brothers during the 1970s be he also released his Lay a Little Lovin’ On Me in 1978.  The album had no chart success but the single release of “Statue of a Fool” scratched the US Country chart at No. 91 in 1979.

     

    His 1980 Sweet Thunder produced the No. 88 hit “Don’t Know Much” in 1981 and the following year the title track from his Right Here and Now charted on the Billboard Top 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. In 1984 and 1985 he had a further 5 country chart hits in the US and 4 in Canada’s country chart from the albums from I Still Do and Still Hung Up On You.

     

    1987 saw him catapulted back to the top of the pops charts when he recorded “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” with Jennifer Warnes for the soundtrack of the successful film Dirty Dancing.  It also saw him and Warnes winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award.

     

    This led to The Best of Bill Medley being released in 1988 and he has since recorded songs for the soundtracks to the movies Major League and The Last Boy Scout and the TV series Cheers where he made an appearance and Just the Ten Of Us.

     

    In 1993 he released the album Going Home which would be his last until the new millennium when his Damn Near Righteous came out in 2007. 

     

    Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s he continued to perform with Bobby Hatfield and in March 2003 The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Billy Joel.  Sadly the duo came to an end in November of that year when Bobby died suddenly in Kalamazoo, Michigan, just half an hour before the duo were due to perform a concert.

     

    Other albums, by artists outside The Righteous Brothers, he has appeared on as a singer and/or songwriter include Jimmy Chamberlin’s Life Begins Again where he sang on the track “Lullabye” along with Tear Off! By The Box Stops, Wings by Michel Colombier, My Own Way to Rock by Burton Cummings, From All Dimensions by The Dimensions, King for a Day by Mickey Dolenz, Fool for the City by Foghat, Louie Louie/Greatest Hits by The Kingsmen, So Much Love: A Darlene Love Anthology 1958-1998 by Darlene Love, The Gambler by Kenny Rogers, Plays Love Songs, Vol. 1 by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Breakout!!! By Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Baby Don’t Go by Sonny & Cher, Back to Mono (1958-1969) by Phil Spector, Every Little Bit Hurts by The Spencer Davis Group, The Well by Jennifer Warnes and Slick Chick: R&B Years by Dinah Washington among numerous others

     

    Recently he has performed at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in Branson, Missouri, where his daughter McKenna Medley also performed as an opener for The Comets.  His son Darrin has performed as the lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders.  A booking at Wembley Arena for November 2013 is the first concert he ever performed in the UK.

     

    Kenny Rogers recordings
    The Gambler
    (D. Schlitz)
    United Artists UA-X1250Y (UAST-20122) (US 45)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.billmedley.com/biography.html
    2. http://www.righteousbrothers.com/bill.htm
    3. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bill-medley-mn0000077536/biography
    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Medley
    5. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0575830/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm#trivia
    6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Righteous_Brothers
    7. http://www.pdrws.co.uk/index.htm
    8. http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/music/400846/Bill-Medley-is-still-having-the-time-of-his-life
    9. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bill-medley-mn0000077536/credits
    10. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0575830/

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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