Righteous Brothers’ live take of “Unchained Melody” proves their talent
The song has had plenty of performers over the years, but the Righteous Brothers' version on The Andy Williams Show is so good!
Johndel Callora
02.08.21

There are great song covers from various known musical artists, but a lot of people still prefer to stick with the original.

Still, sometimes people all agree that one version is the best of all—and that just might be the case with The Righteous Brothers’ rendition of “Unchained Melody.”

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

A lot of people were addicted to the simple yet lovely tune of the song “Unchained Melody,” a song composed by Alex North with lyrics written by Hy Zaret.

This song was written for a not-so-famous prison film called Unchained that was first released in 1955.

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

It was Todd Duncan who received the honor of giving voice to the said melody as he recorded his own version for the film’s soundtrack.

In the following years, the song established popularity and became a standard in music.

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

More than 670 artists, according to the song’s publishing administrator, have recorded over 1,500 recordings of “Unchained Melody” in different languages.

The popularity of the song did not stop there, with some of the versions becoming chart-toppers.

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

Given over thousands of different recordings of the song, some of the most popular versions were performed by Les Baxter, Al Hibbler and Roy Hamilton.

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

Other popular versions from Liberace and Jimmy Young simultaneously appeared in UK’s top 20 charts, along with Hibbler and Baxter’s versions.

The song’s popularity did not stop there especially with one particular recording, which unanimously won everyone’s hearts.

The Righteous Brothers won all when they released their own version in 1965.

wikipedia.org
Source:
wikipedia.org

The Righteous Brothers, a musical duo composed of singers Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, revolutionized the song and made it their own.

They released their version of the song later in July 1965, which immediately became a jukebox standard. In their version, Hatfield changed some of the melodies, specifically in the final verses. The Righteous Brothers’ version reached the top four on the Billboard Hot 100 and ranked 14th on UK charts in 1965.

Furthermore, the duo re-recorded another version in 1990 and it was used as a soundtrack in the blockbuster film, Ghost.

Both versions—the old and new recording—appeared on the US charts and saw the No. 1 spot in the UK singles chart that year.

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

During the initial recording, Bobby Hatfield did most of the lead vocals and even sang a solo part.

However, The Righteous Brothers had an agreement to have at least one solo piece per album so they had to decide whether who should be given credits for the song.

Both Hatfield and Medley wanted to sing the song, but the better odds pointed at Hatfield. Since then, Hatfield’s voice is the only one that could be heard on the track along with Medley’s piano accompaniment.

The Righteous Brothers were known to have contrasting ranges, with Medley singing most of the low parts and Hatfield on the higher register.

It was Hatfield’s tenor vocals that brought their version of “Unchained Melody” to absolute perfection.

You could hear his wonderful solo of the song in Hatfield’s appearance on The Andy Williams Show in 1965.

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

You can certainly not get enough of Hatfield’s angelic voice in this song!

The Righteous Brothers have had plenty of hits over the years, but this is a song that everybody just keeps coming back to. Even so, performances like this one make it clear why!

Watch the full thing in the link below:

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Article Sources:
To learn more read our Editorial Standards.
Share this article
By Johndel Callora
hi@sbly.com
Johndel Callora is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement