I've been going to see Bill Medley since he and Bobby Hatfield did the club circuit back in the '60s. He was always my favorite Righteous Brother, though Bobby was a soulful inspiration too.
But it was Bill's deep, velvety smooth and emotionally stirring bass-baritone, displayed most hauntingly in songs like "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin,'" that sent me directly to heaven when, as a high school virgin, I stopped breathing and melted into the arms of my date in the smoke-filled lounge of the Coconut Grove.
Illicit cigarette in hand, I'd brazenly try to attract his attention (while my boyfriend was in the men's room), fantasizing about being in the arms of such a tall, dark and mysterious-looking older man. Not classically handsome, no. But that sexy, outlaw energy spoke to the woman in me, not the girl.
And when I closed my eyes, his voice sounded like the blackest of black singers, so much the better for taboo-shattering in the mind's eye of a privately schooled, 17-year-old white girl.