The Story Behind Unchained Melody~

By Fran Lane


Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers is one of the most requested love songs on The Nite Lite. This song didn’t start out like most people think. Check out how Unchained Melody was born…

Unchained Melody first appeared in the 1955 movie Unchained, starring former football player Elroy Hirsch. The movie takes place in a prison, and the song was written to reflect the mood of the prisoners waiting for time to pass.

Alex North wrote the music, Hy Zaret wrote the lyrics, and Todd Duncan sang the movie version. Duncan later became a popular vocal instructor. When the movie came out, an orchestral version by Les Baxter was released along with a version by Al Hibbler. Baxter’s version hit number one on the charts, while Hibbler’s version hit number 3.

The Righteous Brothers recorded the song and it became a big hit, but it was released as a B-side on the single Hung on You. Phil Spector produced both songs. A lot of DJ’s preferred to flip the single and play Unchained Melody instead, which infuriated Phil Spector, who wanted the A-side Hung on You featured instead. The Righteous Brothers’ Bobby Hatfield sang the lead on this timeless classic.  Bobby died in 2003 of a heart attack at the age of 63.



Complete History of the song

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