- in Pop/Urban
Medley formed the group with Hatfield in 1963, but first performing together in 1962 in the Los Angeles area as part of a five-member group called the Paramours, and adopted the name "The Righteous Brothers" when they embarked on their recording career as a duo. Their most active recording period was in the 1960s and 70s, and although the duo was inactive for some years, Hatfield and Medley reunited in 1981 and continued to perform until Hatfield's death in 2003. The music they performed is sometimes dubbed "blue-eyed soul".
Hatfield and Medley had contrasting vocal ranges, which helped them to create a distinctive sound as a duet, but also strong vocal talent individually that allowed them to perform as soloists. Medley sang the low parts with his bass-baritone voice, with Hatfield taking the higher register vocals with his tenor voice.
Following a year and a half of non-Top 40 entries on Billboard's Hot 100, the duo hit big with the late 1964 release of what would become their signature record, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" – a transatlantic number one produced by Phil Spector and often considered not only one of his finest works but also one of the landmark recordings in popular music. Other notable hits include three US 1965 Top Tens – "Just Once in My Life" and covers of "Unchained Melody" (also a huge hit in 1990) and "Ebb Tide" – and the massive US 1966 number one "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration", plus the 1974 comeback hit "Rock and Roll Heaven". Both Hatfield and Medley also had for a time their own solo careers. In 2016, Medley re-formed The Righteous Brothers with Bucky Heard and they continue to perform as a duo.
The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Rolling Stone ranked them no. 16 on its list of the 20 Greatest Duos of All Time.