Elvis Presley

The Story Behind The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody and Elvis Presley Connection

The righteous brothers unchained melody Elvis The 1960s were a golden era for music, and few artists captured the hearts of fans like The Righteous Brothers and Elvis Presley. These two iconic acts ruled the charts with their soulful voices and passionate performances, leaving an indelible mark on the world of music. While they may have seemed like separate entities at the time, their paths would eventually cross in a way that would create one of the most beloved songs of all time – “Unchained Melody”.

In this blog post, we will delve into the captivating story of The Righteous Brothers’ rise to fame, the origins and impact of their hit song “Unchained Melody”, and how it became intertwined with the legacy of Elvis Presley.

The Story Behind The Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody and Elvis Presley Connection

The Righteous Brothers Biography

To truly understand the impact of “Unchained Melody” and its connection to Elvis Presley, we must first explore the background of The Righteous Brothers themselves.

The duo, comprised of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, met in 1962 while performing individually at a club in California. They soon discovered that their voices blended together effortlessly, creating a unique sound that captivated audiences. It wasn’t long before they joined forces and began performing as The Righteous Brothers.

Their talent caught the attention of record producer Phil Spector, who signed them to his label, Philles Records. Under Spector’s guidance, The Righteous Brothers released a string of hits including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”, “Soul and Inspiration”, and of course, “Unchained Melody”.

Despite their success, tensions between the duo grew, and they eventually split up in 1968. However, their legacy would continue to live on through their unforgettable music.

Lyrics, Videos, and Chords for Elvis Presley’s Unchained Melody

Unchained Melody Song History

“Unchained Melody” was originally written in 1955 by Alex North and Hy Zaret for the film “Unchained”. It was first recorded by Todd Duncan, and later covered by various artists such as Al Hibbler and Les Baxter. However, it wasn’t until The Righteous Brothers got their hands on the song that it truly soared to new heights.

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In 1965, The Righteous Brothers recorded their version of “Unchained Melody”, produced by Phil Spector. With Medley’s powerful baritone and Hatfield’s soaring tenor, the song took on a whole new level of emotion and passion. The track featured a unique production technique, known as the “Wall of Sound”, which added layers of instruments and vocals to create a fuller sound.

The song was released as a B-side to “Hung On You” but soon became more popular than the A-side, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Its popularity only continued to grow, and “Unchained Melody” has since become one of the most covered songs in history, with over 1,500 versions recorded by various artists.

The Story Behind The Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody and Elvis Presley Connection

Unchained Melody Elvis The Story Behind the Iconic Song

Elvis Presley and The Righteous Brothers Connection

While “Unchained Melody” had already become a massive hit for The Righteous Brothers, it would soon become linked to another music legend – Elvis Presley.

In 1973, Elvis performed at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, where he invited Bill Medley to join him on stage for a duet of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”. The two icons hit it off and quickly became friends.

During his time in Vegas, Elvis also attended The Righteous Brothers’ show at Caesar’s Palace and was blown away by their performance. He even invited them to his own show where they ended up performing “Unchained Melody” together. This would turn out to be one of the last times Elvis would perform on stage before his untimely death.

The Story Behind The Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody and Elvis Presley Connection

The Impact of Unchained Melody on Music

“Unchained Melody” has stood the test of time, remaining a beloved song for over five decades. Its impact on music cannot be overstated, from its unique production style to the hauntingly beautiful lyrics and soaring vocals.

The song has been featured in countless movies, TV shows, and advertisements, solidifying its place as one of the most recognizable and enduring songs in pop culture. In 1990, The Righteous Brothers’ version was re-released after being featured in the hit movie “Ghost”, reaching number one on the charts once again.

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Collaborations Between The Righteous Brothers and Elvis Presley

While their duet on “Unchained Melody” may have been the only time they performed together on stage, The Righteous Brothers and Elvis Presley had a few other collaborations throughout their careers.

In 1966, The Righteous Brothers released the album “Soul and Inspiration”, which included a cover of Elvis’ hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. The two acts also shared the same manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who also helped to broker a deal for The Righteous Brothers to appear in the movie “Spinout”, alongside Elvis.

Their friendship and mutual admiration for each other’s music continued until Elvis’ passing in 1977. In fact, Medley and Hatfield were invited to attend Elvis’ funeral and sang “Rock of Ages” at a private service for friends and family.

The Story Behind The Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody and Elvis Presley Connection

Unchained Melody: A Timeless Classic

Despite the passing of time, “Unchained Melody” continues to resonate with listeners of all ages. Its emotional lyrics, powerful vocals, and timeless melody give it a universal appeal that transcends generations.

In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bill Medley reflected on the enduring legacy of “Unchained Melody”, stating, “It’s just one of those songs that means something to so many people. It reminds them of a time, a place, a person.”

And it’s not just the original version that has captured the hearts of millions. The song has been covered by an array of artists, from Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison to contemporary singers like Leona Lewis and Sam Smith. Each rendition adds a unique twist while still paying tribute to the iconic track.

The Righteous Brothers’ Musical Legacy

The Righteous Brothers may have parted ways in 1968, but their music has continued to touch the lives of countless listeners. Their style of blue-eyed soul, combining elements of RB and pop, influenced many artists who came after them, including Tom Jones, Michael Bolton, and Michael McDonald.

In 2003, Bobby Hatfield passed away, leaving behind a legacy as one half of one of the greatest vocal duos in history. However, The Righteous Brothers’ music continues to live on through various compilations, remastered versions, and tributes.

The Story Behind The Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody and Elvis Presley Connection

Elvis Presley’s Influence on The Righteous Brothers

Just as The Righteous Brothers left an impact on Elvis’ music, he also had an influence on theirs. In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bill Medley spoke about how Elvis’ musical style inspired him and Bobby Hatfield, stating, “He was the first guy we heard that sang with passion.”

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Elvis’ music and performances gave The Righteous Brothers a sense of freedom and expression that they carried with them throughout their career. And when the two finally met and performed together, it was a culmination of their mutual admiration and respect for each other’s talents.

Unchained Melody: Chart-Topping Success

“Unchained Melody” has become synonymous with success, not just for The Righteous Brothers but also for Elvis Presley. Its initial release in 1965 reached number four on the Billboard charts, and its re-release in 1990 topped the charts once again.

The song has also been certified platinum by the RIAA and has sold over one million copies worldwide. In 2004, it was ranked number 365 on Rolling Stone’s list of “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

Remembering The Righteous Brothers and Elvis Presley

Despite their immense popularity and success, both The Righteous Brothers and Elvis Presley faced their share of personal struggles. Bobby Hatfield passed away in 2003, while Bill Medley continues to perform as a solo artist.

Elvis Presley tragically passed away in 1977 at the age of 42, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire new generations of musicians. And though they may no longer be with us, their music lives on, reminding us of the power of passion, emotion, and enduring friendship.

The Story Behind The Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody and Elvis Presley Connection


There is no denying the impact that The Righteous Brothers and Elvis Presley had on the world of music. Their unique styles and unparalleled talent created some of the most treasured songs in history, including the iconic “Unchained Melody”.

As we look back at the story behind this timeless classic and its connection to Elvis Presley, we are reminded of the enduring power of music to transcend time, bring people together, and leave an indelible mark on our hearts. The legacy of The Righteous Brothers and Elvis Presley will continue to live on through their music, forever immortalized in our memories and in the songs that have captured our hearts and souls.

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