Bill Medley: American singer and songwriter, record producer (born: 1940) | Biography, Filmography, Discography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Bill Medley
American singer and songwriter, record producer

Bill Medley

Bill Medley
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American singer and songwriter, record producer
Known for One half of the duo, The Righteous Brothers
A.K.A. William Thomas "Bill" Medley, William Thomas Medley
Is Singer Songwriter Record producer
From United States of America
Field Business Music
Gender male
Birth 19 September 1940, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Age 83 years
Star sign Virgo
Santa Ana High School
Soul music
Country music
The details (from wikipedia)


William Thomas "Bill" Medley (born September 19, 1940) is an American singer and songwriter, best known as one half of The Righteous Brothers. He is noted for his bass-baritone voice, exemplified in songs such as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'". Medley produced a number of the duo's songs, including "Unchained Melody" and "Soul and Inspiration".

Medley is a successful solo artist, and his million-selling #1 duet with Jennifer Warnes "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" won a number of awards.

Early life

Medley was born on September 19, 1940 in Santa Ana, California, to Arnol and Irma Medley. He attended Santa Ana High School and graduated in 1958. Medley was raised as a Presbyterian and started singing in a church choir. His parents had a swing band. He became interested in R&B music listening to black music radio stations. An early influence he cited is Little Richard who he first heard when he was fifteen or sixteen years old, and later Ray Charles, Bobby Bland, and B.B. King.

Medley first formed a singing duo called The Romancers with his friend Don Fiduccia, who also played the guitar. He began to write songs and record multi-track recordings in his living room. At 19, he had two songs, "Womaling" and "Chimes of My Heart", recorded by vocal group The Diamonds. Medley and Fiduccia then formed a group called The Paramours in 1960 with Sal Fasulo and Nick Tuturro, later joined by Mike Rider and Barry Rillera. The band had their first paying gig at Little Italy restaurant in Anaheim. The Paramours were signed to Mercury Records' subsidiary label Smash Records, and released songs such as "That's The Way We Love" and "Miss Social Climber" in 1961.

The Righteous Brothers

Medley first met his singing partner Bobby Hatfield through Barry Rillera who was in both Hatfield's and Medley's group and asked them to see each other's show. In 1962, they formed a new group, but kept the name Paramours, which included saxophone player John Wimber who later went on to found The Vineyard Church movement. They performed at The Black Derby nightclub in Santa Ana, and released a single "There She Goes (She's Walking Away)" in December 1962 with a small record label Moonglow. However, the band did not have much success and soon broke up, leaving Hatfield and Medley to perform as a duo in 1963. Medley and Hatfield adopted the name The Righteous Brothers, and their first single was the Medley-penned "Little Latin Lupe Lu" released under the label Moonglow Records. Medley also recorded as a solo artist with Moonglow, and released a single "Gotta Tell You How I Feel" which did not chart.

In 1964, The Righteous Brothers appeared in a show with other groups in the Cow Palace in San Francisco where Phil Spector was conducting the band for the entire show. Spector was impressed by the duo and arranged to have them record for his own label Philles Records. In 1965, they had their first No. 1 hit, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", which was produced by Phil Spector. According to music publishing watchdog Broadcast Music, Inc., "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" is the most-played song in the history of American radio. They also recorded other songs such as "Unchained Melody" with Philles Records. Medley, who had produced the duo before they signed with Spector and Philles, was the actual producer on many tracks and 'B' sides credited to Spector, including "Unchained Melody" which was originally intended to be an album track. On singles such as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" and "Just Once in My Life", the vocals were concentrated mainly on Medley, but on a few singles, such as "Unchained Melody" and "Ebb Tide", Hatfield performed solo.

The duo left Spector in 1966 to sign with Verve Records where they had a hit with "Soul and Inspiration", but broke up in 1968 when Medley left to pursue his own career. Medley was performing three shows a night in Las Vegas; according to Medley, he found it too much of a strain on his voice singing solo, and lost his voice for a while. Under advice, he sought out Hatfield to reform The Righteous Brothers in 1974. They signed with Haven Records, quickly recorded "Rock and Roll Heaven" which became a hit. In 1976, Medley decided to quit music for some time after the death of his first wife. He reunited with Hatfield in 1981 for the 30th special of American Bandstand, where they performed an updated version of "Rock and Roll Heaven". Although Medley focused his attention on his solo career in the 1980s, they continued to appear together as a duo. After a resurgence in popularity in 1990s due to the use of "Unchained Melody" in the film Ghost, they toured extensively as a duo until Hatfield's death in November 2003. The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2003 by Billy Joel.

Solo career

Medley also had a moderately successful solo career. In 1968, Medley first recorded "I Can't Make It Alone" written by Carole King, but the song failed to make much of an impact. The following singles, "Brown Eyed Woman" written by Mann and Weil, and "Peace, Brother, Peace", both performed better and were Top 40 Pop hits. In 1969, he won 2nd place at the Festival Internacional da Canção (FIC) in Rio de Janeiro, with the song "Evie", by Jimmy Webb. Medley performed "Hey Jude" at the 1969 Grammy Awards, and was then signed to A&M Records which released a number of his records. One of his recordings, "Freedom and Fear" from Michel Colombier's album Wings, was nominated for a Grammy in 1972.

Medley released several solo albums during the 1970s and 1980s, and enjoyed a resurgence in his career in the 1980s. He released an album, Sweet Thunder in 1980, containing a version of "Don't Know Much", which was originally written and performed by Barry Mann the same year. He signed with Planet Records in 1982 and later with RCA Records. In 1984 and 1985, he charted five singles on the country charts with the biggest of these being the Top 20 country hit, "I Still Do," which also crossed over to the adult contemporary charts and later became a cult hit with the Carolina Beach/Shag dance club circuit. One of Medley's minor entries, "All I Need to Know" was later recorded as "Don't Know Much" by Grammy-winning duet Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville was a long running No. 2 Hot 100 and No. 1 Adult Contemporary in 1989-90.

In 1987 his duet with Jennifer Warnes, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", was included on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack album, and the single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song won Medley and Warnes a 1988 Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the composers. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" is now seen and heard ubiquitously on TV and radio commercials—covered by singers other than Medley and Warnes—usually connected with vacation, cruise, resort, and other such holiday-themed advertisers.

Among his other notable songs are "Most of All You", the closing theme to the movie Major League; "Friday Night's A Great Night For Football" from Tony Scott's movie, The Last Boy Scout; and the theme song for the Growing Pains spinoff, Just The Ten of Us. He also collaborated with Giorgio Moroder and scored a moderate UK hit in 1988 with a version of "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother". Medley recorded a video for the song which was also used as the end credit theme for Rambo III. Medley continues to perform solo after Bobby Hatfield's death in 2003.

Recent work

Bill Medley appeared in the two-part episode "Finally!" of the hit television show, Cheers. In 1998 Medley along with Jennifer Warnes sang "Show Me The Light" during the end credits of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie. He also recorded a vocal track for the song Lullabye on Jimmy Chamberlin's (of Smashing Pumpkins fame) solo album, Life Begins Again.

Through the mid to late 2000s, Medley performed mainly in Branson, Missouri, at Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater, Andy Williams' Moon River Theater, and The Starlite Theatre. Later Medley also began touring with his daughter McKenna and her 3-Bottle Band. On November 24, 2013, he performed in concert for the first time in the UK at the Wembley Arena.

Bill Medley wrote a memoir which was published in April 2014, titled The Time of My Life: A Righteous Brother's Memoir.

In January 2016, Medley announced he would revive the Righteous Brothers for the first time since 2003, partnering with new singer Bucky Heard.

Personal life

Bill Medley met his first wife Karen O'Grady in church, started dating in 1963 and they were married at the beginning of his music career. Their son Darrin was born in 1965, but they were divorced when Darrin was about five. Medley also married Suzi Robertson in 1970, and then Janice Gorham, but both marriages were soon annulled. He had a number of relationships with other women, including Darlene Love, Mary Wilson and Connie Stevens. Medley was also a close friend of Elvis Presley.

In January 1976, his first wife Karen was raped and murdered by a stranger, and Medley decided to take time off from his music career to look after his 10-year-old son Darrin. The murder had not been solved and Medley employed a private investigator in an effort to track down the killer. On January 27, 2017, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced that investigators used a controversial DNA testing method to solve the decades-old murder. The sheriff's department said that the case "was solved through the use of familial DNA, which identified the killer," who was named as Kenneth Troyer, a sex offender and fugitive killed by police in 1982.

Medley married his current wife Paula in 1986 and they have a daughter, McKenna. Their daughter is also a singer and she performs with Medley as his duetting partner on "Time of My Life" in his tour.

Awards and nominations

Medley was nominated for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist in the 1972 Grammy Awards for his recording of "Freedom and Fear", a track from Michel Colombier's album Wings.

In 1988, Medley received a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for his duet with Jennifer Warnes on "(I've Had) The Time of My Life".



Year Album Chart positions Label

1968 Bill Medley 100% 188 MGM
1969 Soft and Soulful 152
1970 Gone A&M
1970 Someone Is Standing Outside
1971 A Song for You
1973 Smile
1978 Lay a Little Lovin' on Me United Artists
1980 Sweet Thunder
1982 Right Here and Now Planet
1984 I Still Do 58 RCA
1985 Still Hung Up on You
1988 The Best of Bill Medley MCA/Curb
1993 Going Home Essential
2007 Damn Near Righteous
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Country
CAN Country
1968 "I Can't Make It Alone" 95 63 Bill Medley 100%
"Brown Eyed Woman" 43 36
"Peace Brother Peace" 48 46 Soft and Soulful
1969 "This Is a Love Song" 112 non-album single
1979 "Statue of a Fool" 91 Lay a Little Lovin' on Me
1981 "Don't Know Much" 88 29 Sweet Thunder
1982 "Right Here and Now" 58 31 Right Here and Now
1984 "Til Your Memory's Gone" 28 20 I Still Do
"I Still Do" 17 25 22
"I've Always Got the Heart to Sing the Blues" 26 41
1985 "Is There Anything I Can Do" 47 46 Still Hung Up on You
"Women in Love" 55
1986 "Loving on Borrowed Time" 16 Cobra Original Soundtrack
1987 "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" 1 1 1 3 6 The Best of Bill Medley
1988 "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" 49 25
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 02 Aug 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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