[lastfm]Bill Medley[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Bobby Hatfield[/lastfm] were two friends who lived in Orange County and who also needed a huge “shot in the arm” to expand and get their mostly local Southern California following to spread all over the country and the world.
Starting in 1963, they had a few “L.A.” hits like “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” “Koko Joe” (written by Sonny Bono!!) and “My Babe” on Moonglow Records.
It wasn’t until the iconic record producer Phil Spector took them under his wing, molded their sound, believed in them and gave them his full support that “[lastfm]The Righteous Brothers[/lastfm]” truly became one of the premiere Rock ‘n’ Roll duos in music.
It happened in San Francisco when the duo performed at the Cow Palace along with 10 other rock acts, including The Ronettes.
[lastfm]Ronettes[/lastfm] producer Phil Spector was conducting the band for the whole performance and was very impressed by Bill and Bobby!
Phil decided to buy the remaining 2 1/2 years of their contract from Moonglow and put them on his own Philles label.
Mr. Spector asked the husband-wife writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (now in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame) to come to California (from New York) and write a great song for his newfound musical heros.
Mann and Weil arrived in the Big Orange, checked into the Chateau Marmont Hotel on Sunset Strip and rented a piano.
They’d decided to write a ballad for the boys and were inspired by their favorite song at the time; the Four Top’s “Baby, I Need Your Lovin'”.
The result was “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”.
The first time Barry Mann heard the finished tune, it was over the phone, and, Barry told Phil that he must’ve been playing it on the wrong speed, hearing Bill’s baritone voice. He thought it was playing slow!!
The song reached #1 in the country in early February of 1965.
Here’s the major fact about the Righteous Brother’s classic: It was THE MOST PLAYED song on TV and Radio airwaves of the last CENTURY!!!!
[lastfm]Dionne Warwick[/lastfm] had a version of it. [lastfm]Hall and Oates[/lastfm] made it a hit again, along with so many other “cover versions,” but with Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” production, the deep tone of Bill Medley offsetting and complimenting the high notes of Bobby Hatfield, and the overall mood of a really great tune, there will never be as instantly recognizable a tune as the original version, the MOST PLAYED on the airwaves version of, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”.
Oh, by the way, that title was just a “working title” until the writers could come up with something “better.”
Phil liked the words and decided to keep them.