Righteous Brother Hatfield Memorialized
Bill Medley, the surviving member of the Righteous Brothers, sang a gospel song on Tuesday as he had never done before — solo — as family, friends and fans remembered his late partner, Bobby Hatfield, at a Southern California memorial service, says the Hollywood Reporter.
“I’m going to miss our two-part harmony. I’m going to miss our rock ‘n’ roll. I’m going to miss looking to my right on stage and seeing my friend,” said Medley inside the Mariners Church in Irvine, where a concert film montage was played and photos of Hatfield filled the hall.
Robert Lee “Bobby” Hatfield, 63, who with Medley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year for such hits as “Unchained Melody” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” died Nov. 5 in a hotel room in Kalamazoo, Mich., shortly before the duo was to perform. Results of an autopsy have yet to be revealed, though police ruled out foul play as the cause of death.
As if addressing Hatfield in the church, Medley, also 63, said: “I want you to rest as well as you lived.”
He also told the hundreds of people who turned out for the public memorial service: “I have 41 years of stories about Bobby and (me) … none of which I can tell you in this church.”
But in a highly emotional moment, he sat at a piano and performed the gospel song “Precious Lord.” Before he sang, he said, “I do this for the Hatfield family. And only for you, Bobby, would I do this.”
Members of the family, including Hatfield’s children, talked about private family moments. And members of the Righteous Brothers band talked about their years of performing.
“Everybody Loves Raymond” costar Brad Garrett, 43, recalled opening for the group in the late 1980s and said that the two Righteous Brothers (who weren’t really brothers) treated him like family.
“Bobby was really a mentor,” Garrett joked, “because he was the only one who could out-drink and out-gamble me.”