The Righteous Brothers, an old-time rock’n’roll duo, added to the Gertrude Ford Center’s array of diverse acts this performance season. The band sold out the venue on Saturday night.
Singers Bill Medley and Bucky Heard played seventeen songs from on and off their catalog with classics hits such as “Unchained Melody,” “Lean On Me” and “Hold On, I’m Coming.”
Medley performed with the energy of a youthful, experienced musician.
Heard performed “Crying” by Roy Orbis, “Ebb Tide” and “Nessun Dorma” by himself. Medley performed his rendition of “Unchained Melody” in honor of Righteous Brother Bobby Hatfield, who died in November 2003.
“Nobody sang it like Bobby,” Medley said.
Both men received standing ovations from the crowd after their solos.
“We’d like to dedicate this song to all those who have passed, and especially to my little brother Bobby,” Medley said after playing “Rock and Roll Heaven.”
The band featured covers of songs and their own repertoire and performed older hits.
Medley’s daughter, Mckenna Medley, who sang backup for the concert, also performed “At Last” by Etta James and “Had the Time of my Life” with her father.
The Righteous Brothers also performed the popular Ray Charles song, “I Got a Woman.”
The Ford Center has been looking at a wider variety of acts to perform at the venue, according to Kate Meacham, the marketing director.
“We’ve been hearing from people in town, and they wanted us to do some more pop-type things,” Meacham said. “So we started looking at the acts that were available and touring.”
The venue was sold out for the concert, having a good mix of both lifelong fans and younger people who might not have heard much of their music.
“I thought it was great. I’ve pretty much been a fan since I was a kid, “ audience member Mary Knight said. ”My mom used to listen to a lot of their music and that type of music that they played — Ray Charles, Etta James and those kind of songs. I grew up listening to them.”
The Righteous Brothers thanked all the veterans in the audience. The band asked them to stand so that they could properly thank them for their service to the country, dedicating “Lean on Me” to them.
Medley joked about being an older performer multiple times throughout the show.
“I’m allowed five senior moments a show. I’m on my tenth,” Medley said.
The last song of the evening was “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” which is one of their top-grossing songs.