Forty-five years into the rock 'n' roll wars, Bill Medley hasn't lost that lovin' feeling, not for the music nor a musician's life on the road.
"I still do some one-nighters ... but not nearly as many," the 67-year-old singer said recently from Branson, Mo., where he's taken to performing in two-week stints this year, dividing his time between there and his Southern California home.
"If I was in my 20s, I'd still be out there on the road every night," he adds. "The road is a pretty magical place."
That's where he was four years ago when his partner in the Righteous Brothers, Bobby Hatfield, died in a Michigan hotel room of a cocaine-related heart attack before a scheduled show.
Medley, devastated, took some time off, returned to the studio and recorded his first new solo album in decades.
He also got back on the road, with his son, Darrin, and daughter, McKenna, often accompanying him in place of Hatfield.
"I miss him a lot," he says of Hatfield, his distinctive baritone growing soft and reflective. "He was a real alive guy, he wasn't a boring guy at all. So yeah, somebody like that is taken out of your life it's quite a loss."
The two teamed in 1962, creating an R&B-pop sound that came to be known as blue-eyed soul. They said they took their name after appreciative members of a largely black audience shouted at the white musicians, "That's righteous, brothers."
Their signature song, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," is listed by BMI as the most played in the history of American radio.
Medley still performs it every night, along with their other monster hit, "Unchained Melody."
"I have to do 'em," he says, laughing. "Or I wouldn't make it out of town alive."