Righteous Brothers turn back the clock in Malibu

Righteous Brothers Malibu 2024 mainbar

The Righteous Brothers performed at the Lisa Smith Wengler Performing Arts Center (Smothers Theatre) at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA on January 18.  The Righteous Brothers formed back in 1963 and were a duo of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield until 1968 when Medley left. Jimmy Walker was Medley’s replacement for three years before the duo disbanded. That lineup released just one album. Medley and Hatfield reunited in 1974 for just two years and would once again reunite in 1981 and stayed together until Hatfield’s passing in 2003. For the next 13 years Medley would perform solo. Since 2016 Bucky Heard has been helping Medley keep the Righteous Brothers’ music alive as Medley said at the end of the show. 

The Righteous Brothers and their 8-piece group performed classics like their first single “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” their second number one hit “You’re My (Soul and Inspiration),” “Unchained Melody,”  which Medley performed solo as a tribute to Hatfield,“ Just Once in My Life,” written by Carole King and “Rock and Roll Heaven”. They also paid tribute to our veterans performing Simon and Garfunkels “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and Bill Withers “Lean On Me” featuring Medley’s daughter McKenna. “My Babe” was dedicated to Elvis Presley who was a friend of Medleys. Medley performed the Oscar winning theme to Dirty Dancing “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” with his daughter which was originally a duet with Jennifer Warnes. The closing song was the first number one hit for the Righteous Brothers, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” which was used in one of the most memorable Top Gun scenes and this year is the 60th anniversary of that song. 

Eight months before Hatfield’s death, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2005 they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. The Righteous Brothers (Medley/Hatfield) released 11 albums between 1963 and 1968. There was another one released in 1974 and their final release was in 1975. Medley and Heard released an album together in 2016. The Righteous Brothers had 21 charting singles in the U.S. 

  1. Hold On, I’m Comin’- Sam & Dave
  2. Just Once in My Life- Carole King
  3. Little Latin Lupe Lu
  4. (You’re My) Soul and Inspiration- Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
  5. Rock and Roll Heaven- Climax Ft. Sonny Geraci
  6. Crying- Roy Orbison (Heard solo)
  7. Young Blood– The Coasters
  8. Unchained Melody– Hy Zaret & Alex North (Medley solo) 
  9. Great Getting Up Morning- Duke Ellington and Mahalia Jackson (A capella with all vocalists)
  10. Somewhere– Leonard Bernstein (Heard solo)
  11. My Babe
  12. Bridge Over Troubled Water / Lean on Me
  13. (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life
  14. California Dreamin’- Mamas & Papas
  15. This Will Be the Last Time- Medley solo
  16. Good Golly, Miss Molly– Little Richard (partial)
  17. Rock Me Baby– B.B. King
  18. Nessun dorma- Giacomo Puccini (Heard solo)
  19. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’- Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil

Words and photos by Alex Kluft