Righteous Brother Bobby Hatfield Dies

The Righteous Brothers — blue-eyed soul. No one believed they were white. The name had something to do with that, but it was the sound that fooled everyone.

Bobby Hatfield had the higher voice; Bill Medley the lower. In the book accompanying the Phil Spector compilation, Back to Mono, songwriter Cynthia Weil recalls that:

After Phil, Barry [co-writer Barry Mann] and I finished the song, we took it over to The Righteous Brothers. Bill Medley, who has the low voice, seemed to like the song. I remember Bobby Hatfield saying, “But what do I do while he’s singing the whole first verse?” and Phil said, “You can go directly to the bank!”

On AM radio in those days deejays didn’t like songs that lasted more than three minutes. Lovin’ Feelin’ is 3:46. On the label Spector printed 3:05. It was number one for two weeks in February 1965.

The Righteous Brothers had four other top five hits. Unchained Melody made it to number four; Ebb Tide to five. [You’re My] Soul and Inspiration was number one for three weeks in 1966. In 1974 Rock and Roll Heaven got to number three.

Hatfield was found dead in his hotel room yesterday. He was 63.