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Bill Medley Collectors Items


Last updated 25 May 2014 - Updated items in red


Release of Bill Medley 100% & Soft & Soulful albums on CD


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"Bill Medley 100%" / "Soft & Soulful"

Real Gone Music 0016 (2012)



In this easy age of digital music, vinyl albums can sometimes get neglected, so this was a much welcomed CD release package of Bill Medley's first two solo albums, "Bill Medley 100%" and "Soft & Soulful", both recorded in 1968, complete with original front and back album covers. Quite amazing that only 3 of the 24 tracks, "Brown Eyed Woman", "I Can't Make It Alone" and "Peace Brother Peace" had ever been released on CD previously.

The quality of the original MGM stereo vinyl albums was really good, so a transfer from the master tapes was always going to be first class.

To complement Bill Medley on the two albums are the Blossoms, Darlene Love, Fanita James and Jean King on backing vocals, they simply sound superb with their interaction with Bill Medley at his very finest.

Some major highlights are well known songs "Run To My Loving Arms", "The Impossible Dream", "One Day Girl", "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye", "For Your Precious Love" and "Any Day Now".

There are several Bill Medley compositions on the "Soft & Soulful" album, "Something So Wrong" was originally written for Darlene Love and recorded by the Blossoms and is covered in more detail in the Darlene Love piece further down this page. Two other Medley compositions that appear to be autobiographical are "I'm Gonna Die Me" and "Reaching Back", neither are in the love pain line but are in the more general take on life from different perspectives.

Another song on the album that Bill Medley recorded with another artist under his direction a few months earlier than his own version was "Street Of Dirt" which was originally recorded by Chris Morgan in June 1968, Bill Medley wrote the music to Bob Jacobs poignant lyrics.

Interesting to hear again on "Let The Good Times Roll", Bill Medley sing "tell everybody, Bob Hatfield's in town" despite such a long period since they had recorded together.

100 Years from the film Riot issued as a single in South Africa


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"100 Years" / "Any Day Now"

MGM PS82 (South Africa) 1970


It is nothing short of amazing to discover the release of this 1970 South African, Bill Medley's MGM single of "100 Years" / "Any Day Now". It was previously unknown that either track had been issued on a single, both were recorded at the Western Recorders Studio in Hollywood on 9th December 1968 for the "Soft And Soulful" album.

Segments of an alternate version of "100 Years" (Komeda/Wells) by Bill Medley were featured in the 1969 William Castle produced film "Riot", which starred Jim Brown and Gene Hackman. There was never a soundtrack album issued.

There was a bit of mystery surrounding another version of the song "100 Years" by Roy Hamilton because on the single issue of the track on AGP Records, it clearly states on the label that his version was used on the soundtrack to the film "Riot". This may well be a similar scenario to that of the Bill Medley track "A Man And A Train" that was withdrawn from the film "Emperor Of The North".

It would be hard to overstate the influence that Roy Hamilton had on the Righteous Brothers, who recorded many of the songs that he had made famous including, "You'll Never Walk Alone", "Unchained Melody", "Ebb Tide", "Guess Who" and "You Can Have Her", to name but a few. They also recorded an unissued version of Hamilton's "Don't Let Go" in February 1966 and Bill Medley recorded a version in 1991 on his "Blue Eyed Singer" album.

Elvis Presley was also a great fan of Roy Hamilton and would also be greatly influenced by his style, even emulating his phrasing technique.

Master tapes discovery of Paramours track from 1961 with sound effects


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You Heard Them Here First

Ace CDCHD 1219 (UK) 2009

Prison Break by The Paramours


When Ace Records decided to include Bill Medley in one of their compilations of rock icons before they were famous, the Paramours first single “Prison Break” from 1961 on Smash 1701, seemed an obvious choice. Bill Medley of course being a member of the group alongside Mike Reiter, Sal Fasulo and Don Fiduccia.

However, when they heard copies of the master tapes of “Prison Break” from the Universal Music Group vaults, they discovered that there were sound effects originally intended for the intros and outros of the track, which for whatever reason, were never used on the final release.

Now for the first time ever, “Prison Break” can be heard in its original format.

Smash was a subsidiary of Mercury Records and the Paramours single “Prison Break”/“That’s The Way We Love”, both sides written by Bill Medley, was chosen to launch the label.

Withdrawn Bill Medley track from 1973 film soundtrack finally released


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(image added)

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Emperor Of The North/Caprice

Composed & Conducted by Frank DeVol

Intrada Special Collection Vol. 68 (2008)
(Limited edition of 1200 copies)


A Man And A Train (Prologue 2:40 Interlude 4:08)

In 1973 when Bill Medley recorded the song "A Man And A Train" (DeVol/David) for the film soundtrack "Emperor Of The North Pole", it appeared to be the perfect match, Medley's gritty performance, full of pain in line with the melancholy tone of the depression era of 1930's America film made by 20th Century Fox.

Medley's vocals were used twice in the film, once in the prologue and later, an extended version, in a reprise at a poignant scene of the film.

However, at the last minute major changes were made to the soundtrack, Bill Medley's version of "A Man And A Train" was removed and replaced by a more easy going country version by Marty Robbins, a stark contrast to the Medley effort. The extended Medley vocals at the reprise, were replaced by just the instrumental of the song plus several cues were shortened or removed from the score.

Also the film title, was shortened to exclude the 'Pole' from the title, although some original posters were issued with the full title and a credit to Bill Medley (see image).

When Intrada Records embarked on a project to release the soundtrack to "Emperor Of The North", they found the masters contained the original scoring sessions as Frank DeVol had originally made, including the Bill Medley versions of "A Man And A Train", which had never been released previously in any form.

Unissued Bill Medley produced Blossoms track released by Ace Records


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So Much Love - A Darlene Love Anthology 1958-1998

Ace CDCHD 1169 (UK) 2008

So Much Love
Something So Wrong

by The Blossoms


Produced by Bill Medley
Arranged by Bill Baker
Conducted by Mike Patterson


This 24 track compilation was put together by Mick Patrick and Tony Rounce of Ace Records with the full co-operation and support of Darlene Love herself, the album includes tracks that the magnificent Darlene Love has recorded under her own name, or as part of the Blossoms including their various guises.

As with all Ace Record releases, the tracks are legitimately licensed, hence the quality of the tracks is first class with both having been transferred from the original master tapes from the Universal Music Group.

In 1968 the Blossoms were under the management of "Medley, Patterson & West", with Bill Medley as their producer and Mike Patterson as their manager. The Blossoms had worked extensively with the Righteous Brothers as backup singers and had continued in that role with Bill Medley when he went solo in 1968, they can be heard on all of his MGM albums.

Included in the set, the previously unissued Bill Medley produced track "So Much Love" (Goffin/King) by the Blossoms, which has a trademark powerhouse performance by Darlene Love perfectly blending with Fanita James and Jean King, recorded at the same Los Angeles recording session on 14 May 1968, as "Something So Wrong" (Medley), which is also included.

"Something So Wrong" would seem to be an autobiographical song written by Bill Medley about his relationship with Darlene Love at this time, Darlene Love's vocals on the Blossoms version of the song is totally awesome. It is interesting to note that the version of "Something So Wrong" on the CD, ends without the last burst of the song title, as on the original Bell single release.

Bill Medley himself later also recorded versions of both songs, "Something So Wrong" a few months later on 9th December 1968, and then three years later, while at A&M Records, "So Much Love".

Unissued Bill Medley track available only on digital download


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It's Wrong For Me To Love You

Digital download listed as Butterfly by Bill Medley & the Ennio Morricone Orchestra

Carinco AG, Pop Masters, Watermelon Man (2005)


The Righteous Brothers Discography doesn't list digital downloads, but this particular track has had to be included as it was unissued until it was included on Carinco's 'Pop Masters' digital download series "Watermelon Man" in 2005, although it is erroneously listed as "Butterfly".

The song was from the 1982 film "Butterfly", performed by the films star, Pia Zadora, who played the daughter of a man who is accused of having an improper relationship with her. Her version is included on the soundtrack album.

Bill Medley's version of the song appears to have been taken from the perspective of the father, which might have been deemed to be inappropriate to use on the soundtrack and perhaps a version of the song, with the same lyrics by the daughter, more appropriate.

Jerry Ganey's Northern Soul classics - produced by Bill Medley, issued on CD


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Phil's Spectre III: A Third Wall Of Soundalikes

Ace CDCHD 1149 (UK) 2007

Just A Fool
Who Am I

by Jerry Ganey


Produced by Bill Medley
Arranged & Conducted by Bill Baker


Both tracks of Jerry Ganey’s Northern Soul classic double sider, “Just A Fool”/”Who Am I” produced by Bill Medley, have been reissued on the “Phil’s Spectre III: A Third Wall Of Soundalikes” CD by the premier UK reissue company, Ace Records, who transferred them from the original master tapes recently.

Ace Records is the leading reissue company in the UK and has one of the largest and most active, back catalogues kept by any major record concern.

Jerry Ganey (pictured left) was an immensely talented singer with an extensive range, who had been the lead singer of The Clouds, a group that Bill Medley a couple of years earlier, had also produced two singles for.

The original promotion copies of the single on Verve still commands a hefty price – the regular copies of the single are harder to find as not many were pressed.

The song “Just A Fool” written by Bill Medley and Art Munson especially for Jerry Ganey, was recorded in Los Angeles on 16 June 1966, with Bill Baker arranging - Bill Medley used all his production techniques and skills to create a classic ‘Righteous Brothers sound’ to compliment Jerry Ganey’s majestic vocals.

The B side, "Who Am I" written by Bill Medley, is another big production classic combining with Jerry Ganey's soaring vocals.

Friday Night's A Great Night For Football


Blue Eyed Singer

Curb ALCB-480 (Japan) 1991

The Japanese issue of Bill Medley's "Blue Eyed Singer" album has an additional feature that makes it well worth seeking out.

The album includes an extra track, "Friday Night's A Great Night For Football", not included on the US release of the album and only issued as a promotional CD single on Curb Records 091 in 1991.

Bill Medley performed "Friday Night's A Great For Football" in the opening sequence of the Bruce Willis film, "The Last Boy Scout".

French & Italian issue of A&M Hello Rock N Roll


A&M 41.101 (France) 1973

A&M 45047 (Italy) 1973

One of the most interesting aspects of record collecting is to discover foreign issues that use album only tracks as B sides - this French and Italian 1973 release is really significant and unusual because neither of the two tracks were issued on a single in the US.

Both songs written by Bill Medley, are from the 1973 A&M 3517 album "Smile", "Hello Rock And Roll" was a re-recording of an unissued MGM version of the song a couple of years earlier.

In 1980 he re-recorded the song for the withdrawn "Sweet Thunder" album on United Artists 1024 although it was still available as it was used as the B side to the "Still A Fool" single on United Artists 1349.

Smile album issued on CD in Japan


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Smile

Pony Canyon D25Y 3252 (Japan) 1988
A&M UICY 3317 (Japan)
2001

The Universal Music Group who own the entire Righteous Brothers 60's catalog, Bill Medley's MGM and A&M catalog plus Bobby Hatfield's MGM/Verve catalog - have finally seen the light after years of shamefully failing to put out anything except the most popular Righteous Brothers songs.

This Japanese only release of the classic Bill Medley album, which many claim is his finest, is a welcome boost to any collector of his, hopefully may be the start of a reissue program.

The clarity of the digitally remastered tracks is truly amazing, hearing Bill Medley singing Mann/Weil's "A Long Way To Go" and "It's Not Easy", Jim Webb's "All My Love's Laughter", Lambert/Potter's "Put A Little Love Away" and of course his own "Hello Rock And Roll" , "Wasn't It Easy" and "Rock And Roll Loser" - is an experience not to be missed.

As with most Japanese releases, included are the lyrics in Japanese and English, although the accuracy is lost probably after the translation plus there is a lengthy biography albeit in Japanese.

Australian compilation CD


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Unchained

Polydor 847 878-2 (Australia)
1991

An Australian compilation CD made by Polydor to capitalise on the popularity of the Righteous Brothers song "Unchained Melody" in the 1990 movie Ghost coupled with Bill Medley's highly successful appearance in the Dirty Dancing Concert Tour, which toured Australia in 1988. The tracks are the complete "Someone Is Standing Outside" album plus 9 of the 13 tracks that comprised the "Nobody Knows"/"Gone" albums.

Yesterday
Let Me Love Again
A Change Is Gonna Come
Love Me Tender
Hey Jude
Didn't We
Little Green Apples
Blowin' In The Wind
Someone Is Standing Outside
For Once In My Life
My Way
Nobody Knows
Let It Be
See That Girl
Gone
Bridge Over Troubled Water
This Is A Love Song
Brown Eyed Woman
Something
Peace Brother Peace

German compilation double album box set


Star Portrait

MGM 2368 001 (West Germany)
1970

An extremely rare 1970 German compilation double album Box Set that combines several of the Righteous Brothers biggest hits, including the Bobby Hatfield solo "Ebb Tide" plus an interesting cross section of tracks taken from all of Bill Medley's MGM solo albums.

The insert included in the Box Set has the full size photo of Bill Medley as used on the front and back of the box, there is also a biography in German and English.


(1) Peace Brother Peace, Evie, For Once In My Life, EbbTide*, The Great Pretender*, The Impossible Dream

(2) Bridge Over Troubled Water, That's Life, You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You, Something, You've Lost That Lovin Feelin*

(3) Let It Be, Georgia On My Mind*, Hey Jude, Run To My Loving Arms, Love Me Tender

(4) Yesterday, Someone Is Standing Outside, Goin Out Of My Head, Nobody Knows, See That Girl, Blowin In The Wind


*= Track by the Righteous Brothers

Sonny & Cher & Friends


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Baby Don't Go
By Sonny & Cher & Friends

Reprise RS 6177
1965

Compilation album that includes Sonny & Cher tracks when they were known as Caesar & Cleo also features Bill Medley singing three of his original songs "I Surrender (To Your Touch)", "Leavin Town" and "Wo Yeah" probably recorded in 1961.

All Bill Medley's tracks were produced by Nat Goodman who was the manager of the Paramours and also the Diamonds, for who Bill Medley wrote two songs "Woomai Ling" and "Chimes In My Heart", around this same period.

"Leavin Town"/"I Surrender" were issued as a single in 1965 on Reprise 0413.

"Leavin Town"/"Wo Yeah" were issued on an EP with the identical name and number as the album.

Original version Of Damn Good Friend


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6680 Lexington
by 6680 Lexington


MGM SE 4783
1971

Produced by Mike Patterson & Art Munson, includes the original version of "Damn Good Friend Of Mine" (Medley) by Bill Medley, although he is not credited. Another version of the song with title shortened to "Damn Good Friend" appeared on Bill Medley's "A Song For You" album a short while later.

Mike Patterson and Art Munson also perform on the album (named after the location in Los Angeles), Bill Medley had produced records for two of the other artists on the album, Darlene Love (with the Blossoms) and Chris Morgan.

Withdrawn Sweet Thunder


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Sweet Thunder

United Artists LT 1024
1980


The original issue of "Sweet Thunder" on United Artists came to be withdrawn after the record company was taken over and the EMI executives apparently thought the funky style of the album focused too much on the instrumentation and not enough on Bill Medley.

The production duties on this original release were handled by Randy Goodrum & Brent Maher, who also wrote a superb song, "Amy Amy" performed in the classic Medley style.

"Until The Night"/"Maybe It's Not Over"/"Grandma & Grandpa" were carried over to the issue on Liberty LT 1097 in 1981.

"Still A Fool"/"Hello Rock & Roll" were issued as a single on United Artists 1349 in 1980.

This album does appear for sale occasionally with most copies originating from Canada, with the same catalog number as the US issue, the front and back covers on the United Artists and Liberty issues have the same photos and the layout on both are identical.




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