Remember Bill Medley, the bass-baritone that was one half of the Righteous Brothers and still holds the record for the record most played on the radio?
At 78 years of age, Medley is still going strong as he talks about his concert date on Saturday, August 4 at 8 p.m. at Woonsocket’s Stadium Theatre.
“I’ve been in Rhode Island many times in my career,” he said. “I love the area. I love the people.”
Medley started out as a singer/songwriter back in the days of what he described as “music from the soul.” The Diamonds were one of his favorites. He teamed up with Bobby Hatfield in 1963, and they went on to record such classics as “Unchained Melody,” “The Time of My Life” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling" (the most played song in radio history).
Would you believe ‘Unchained Melody’ was the B side of the record? It was the movie “Ghost” that made the song one of the greatest hits of all time.
“Yeah, the movies have certainly been kind to me,” he said. “You can add ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Dirty Dancing’ to movies that changed my career and life.”
When Hatfield passed away, Medley took some time off, continuing his career as a solo act until he teamed up with Bucky Heard to continue the Righteous Brothers tradition.
“I knew he was the right person to do it,” Bill said. “We both worked a lot in Branson, Missouri and became good friends. He has a beautiful voice and we work well together.”
Hedley also brings his daughter with him. (She is terrific on [I’ve Had] “The Time of My Life,” the song he made famous with Jennifer Warnes, capturing a Grammy for best duet.)
“We’ve got a great backup band,” he added. “Wait until you hear Bucky sing ‘Cryin,’ the Roy Orbison classic.
“I have a blues solo that I wrote. Otherwise, we do the duets. All the Righteous Brothers hits. These days I prefer to do the duets, and I love doing them with Bucky.
“You know, today it’s not about the money. I could sit home here in California, but I want to continue the artistic tradition, and I have a chance to pick and choose how many shows I want to do a year.”
Medley was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and is already lining up his 2018-2019 tour dates. Fortunately, the tour includes what should be an eventful night in Woonsocket on August 4. The Stadium Performing Arts Center is located in the heart of downtown Woonsocket at 28 Monument Square. Call the box office for reservations at 762-4545, or go online at www.stadiumtheatre.com. Tickets range from $36-$66.