The legendary Righteous Brothers are coming back to The Villages.
Rock and roll icon Bill Medley and Bucky Heard will perform at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center on Jan. 9 and 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets for the shows range from $85-$125, with some obstructed-view seats available for $65, and can be purchased at thesharon.com.
Medley and the late Bobby Hatfield topped the charts for four decades with a string of No. 1 classics, including the most-played song in radio history, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” Some of their other blockbuster hits included “Unchained Melody,” “You’re My Soul & Inspiration,” “The White Cliffs of Dover” and “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” to name a few.
After Hatfield’s death in 2003, Medley continued to perform sold-out shows around the world. But he didn’t resurrect the Righteous Brothers until he saw Heard performing.
“No one could ever take Bobby’s place, but when I caught Bucky Heard’s show it all came together – I found the right guy to help me recreate the magic,” Medley said.
The Righteous Brothers’ show at the Sharon last January included plenty of great music and raw emotions. There were tears as Medley sang “Unchained Melody” as a tribute Hatfield, who was shown on a screen behind him. There was joy in the packed-house crowd as Medley twisted and Heard danced the Watusi to “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” the duo’s first hit in 1963. There was a sense of sorrow but also reclamation when Medley sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and dedicated the song to all the veterans in the audience.
And there was love throughout the 90-minute sometimes spiritual gathering that featured everything from Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly” to an uplifting gospel number, “In That Great Gettin’ Up Mornin’.”
Medley, known for his instantly recognizable baritone voice, has won a Grammy, an Oscar, a Golden Globe and an American Music Award. The Orange County, Calif., native began writing songs as a boy. Later, after teaming up with Hatfield, the Righteous Brothers secured a regular spot on ABC’s national “Shindig!” broadcast. The show featured a cast of regulars and guest stars and catered to teens, which was something new for television at the time.
The smash success of “Shindig!” coincided with The Righteous Brothers opening for both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones on their first U.S. tours. Medley also has sung on the soundtracks or performed the theme songs for 33 movies and TV shows and in 2014, he released his memoir, “The Time of My Life,” published by Da Capo Press.
Heard is an Alabama native and a graduate of Auburn University. He’s headlined countless shows in major venues and his incredible vocal range has gained plenty of praise and a legion of fans. He’s also shared the stage with the likes of Glen Campbell and Andy Williams and has been honored as “Male Vocalist of the Year” by some prestigious entertainment publications.
Heard says performing with Medley in The Righteous Brothers has been the highlight of his musical career and ranks with “getting your Ph.D.” in show business from a true legend.
“He puts everything into every performance and really understands how to connect with an audience,” Heard said. “He motivates me to be my best and I’m so grateful for this opportunity.”