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Sunday Brunch: Discovering the Blue Eyed Soul of the Righteous Brothers

Watch him listen and wait for it.

Neo found this. Her remarks and especially those of her commenters are a quick survey of pop in the dying decades of the 2oth Century.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • OneGuy January 6, 2019, 10:07 AM

    I am certainly not qualified to talk about music. I simply listen to what I like and in general couldn’t tell you who is singing or what the song is about. But being 75 years old I heard this song when it came out and never thought it was “soul” or that they sounded “black”. Is this some kind of revisionist music history or something? I don’t listen to music because of the singers race and to do so seems odd if not racist.

  • OldFert January 6, 2019, 10:36 AM

    Wait until the young fellow runs into Charlie Pride. Or Darius Rucker’s post-Hootie stuff if you don’t want to go back that far. Don’t forget Isaac Hayes singing “by the time I get to Phoenix.”

    IIRC, the Righteous Brothers got their name from a guy in one of the clubs in which they were playing. ‘Twas a black guy (maybe from a black group) who heard them and commented “you guys sound righteous.”

  • OldFert January 6, 2019, 10:39 AM

    Should’ve read Neo’s post first…
    …According to Medley [the bass-baritone of the duo], they then adopted the name “The Righteous Brothers” for the duo because black Marines from the El Toro Marine base started calling them “righteous brothers”. At the end of a performance, a black U.S. Marine in the audience would shout, “That was righteous, brothers!”, and would greet them with “Hey righteous brothers, how you doin’?” on meeting them.

  • Tom Hyland January 6, 2019, 6:08 PM

    May I say it?? It’s okay to be white.

  • ghostsniper January 6, 2019, 7:42 PM

    Is everything about race now?

    When I was a kid my mom would go jitterbugging all over the house dustin’, moppin’, wipin’, stirrin’, with the radio turned up and singin’ right along with whatever was playing, and us kids would follow and mimic her and laugh.

    The radio dood (gasp, yes, dood, they were all doods back then) never said whether anybody was black, white, whatever, and nobody really cared. If it sounded good just listen to it, if you didn’t like it, well that’s what that 2nd biggest knob on the front of the AM radio was for.

  • Jake was here January 6, 2019, 8:58 PM

    If anything, it’s a sad comment (as someone at Neo’s said) on the way popular music in America has been balkanized and crippled. Now we expect whites to sing one way and blacks another, when we had no such ideas in our heads sixty years ago… The same guy did a video where he watched Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” and had his mind blown when he realized the band was black; an African American heavy-metal band seemed far less weird back in 1988 than it does in 2018, and that seems to me to be a step back.

  • SLM January 6, 2019, 9:06 PM

    Coincidence – I ran across this same clip two nights ago and shared it with my wife. We watched his reaction to Chuck Berry, too, and he says he always thought Berry was white.

  • Blondi Utronki January 7, 2019, 6:41 AM

    He should hear Eva Cassidy.

  • Jewel January 7, 2019, 11:07 AM

    Yes. The first song I heard Eva sing was Bridge Over Troubled Waters. I thought she was black. It was absolutely the best version I’ve ever heard. But this:
    https://youtu.be/KzEL-pVqs3g

  • ghostsniper January 7, 2019, 12:11 PM

    I never thought of the Righteous Brothers as anything but what they are. They sound “black”? Really? They don’t to me.

    Couple weeks ago I turned the tube on late at night to PBS3 and that Amanpour woman was on there interviewing a negro couple, man and wife. I had neither seen nor heard of that couple before. There was nothing remarkable about either, both were dressed casually and nice. As the interview went on I found that the husband was a retired pro baseball player and the wife was an R&B singer, both very successful. They spoke of their children, one was 16 and the other 11, and trials and errors of raising them in today’s world, the various things both are involved with in their day to day lives, and how their marriage has endured for almost 20 years. Nothing seemingly “unusual” at all. Quite normal. In a white world.

    They both spoke and looked white, except for their skin color. I listened close. They did not sound black. Not even in the nuances. Not in the ending of words. Nothing in their speech indicated they were black.

    I believe it would require an unbalanced person to have hateful thoughts about this couple based on my brief study of them, simply because they are of a different race than them. Further, I don’t believe most balanced white would have no problem with this couple living next door to them, even having them over for cook outs and other things friendly neighbors engage in.

    When there is discussion about racial issues in the US I don’t believe the issues are about people like those I seen in that interview. Basically, that couple blends in nicely with the fabric of what it means to be an American. They can go into any restaurant, and business, any anything and they will be treated as a human being should. It is how they present themselves, which is an exterior view of how they think of themselves. As far as the majority of the american people this couple was just one more piece of the pie.

  • ghostsniper January 7, 2019, 12:14 PM

    Jeez, I need to put Miss Olive on the payroll as proof reader.

    “Further, I don’t believe most balanced white would have a problem with this couple living next door to them…”

  • Blondi Utronki January 7, 2019, 12:18 PM

    Jewell, Me too!

  • Jack January 8, 2019, 12:31 PM

    His comparison to the Temps is great and I agree but I never thought, even for a second, that the Righteous Brothers sounded black.

    What I don’t agree with is that so many potentially great black singers….since we’ve always got to distinguish between black and white….slipped out of the singing and slud over to “rap”. Rap is nothing more than black anger expressed in bad rhythm and rhyme.

  • Rick January 8, 2019, 1:36 PM

    I’ve run across a lot of this type of video and admit to being baffled by them. I don’t need a play by play announcer to listen to music. Another one I run across is unknown vocal coaches reviewing music by famous artists. Why should any of us care about this guys reaction? I sure don’t.

  • possumtrotter January 9, 2019, 1:24 PM

    Heard an interview (WFUV, NYC) with John Mellencamp explaining why he releases so few CDs now: The money’s in concerts, not record sales. The concentration of ownership of city radio results in using prepackaged soundtracks: city radio stations mostly play “urban music”, ie rap. He’s too white for airtime.

  • Jeff Brokaw January 9, 2019, 5:31 PM

    I guess my take on these videos is (mostly) I am pleased to see and hear young people discover classic old music, without regard to race.

    The race thing is mildly interesting too, I guess, if we have to go there; but it does suggest we have gone backwards. I don’t recall thinking too much about such things – Duke Ellington’s quote that there’s only two kinds of music, good music and the other kind, works for me.

  • Callmelennie January 11, 2019, 5:53 PM

    I didn’t for a moment think the Righteous Bros were white. I always thought they were just another great Motown act. I was shocked the first time I saw pictures of them\

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