…O’ to be A Righteous Brother
and a call from “Handsome Bobby”
As one walks off Life’s 17th green approaching Life’s ominous 18th tee… it is customary to reflect upon all those “roads not taken” along the way. Ever mindful that even one detour would have jeopardized much Joy & Happiness accumulated in the path one did indeed trod. That understood…
I would like to have been A Righteous Brother. I don’t mean “be” either Bill Medley or Bobby Hatfield as I have no clue what their personal lives were like. Bucky Heard replaced Bobby in later years. Imagine the timeless joy and happiness they brought to so many in their concerts and in their music in all its forms… in the late 60s thru the 70s and beyond forever via recordings.
Ebb Tide … Soul & Inspiration … White Cliffs of Dover … Lost That Lovin’ Feeling… plus plus plus… and OF COURSE – “Unchained Melody”… OH MY!
It was labeled “blue-eyed soul”. There are many who say Unchained Melody is The Greatest Love Song EVER; an arbitrary title bestowed on many songs… but to even be on such a list is pretty freakin’ cool.
Imagine… in countless auditoriums and night clubs across America… just you and your partner accompanied by a band in the shadows off-stage… An audience of “Frankies & Annettes” and “Archie & Betty & Veronica” and Richie Cunningham and friends all staring out at you smiling and swaying to the music and lyrics YOU are giving them.
You hit the first note and they respond pavlovianly anticipating what’s coming… they have memorized them all. I assume Unchained Melody was the show-stopper… and no doubt one of their many Encores.
Bobby died in 2003. Whatever Bill & Bucky’s state of health might be, I hope they find joy and satisfaction in the pleasure their fans still get whenever / wherever they hear their music.
So imagine being introduced to someone… “I’d like you to meet a friend of mine – BobLee – he’s “a Righteous Brother”. WHOA … It would depend upon the age of the person but their jaw drops … and they recite some long ago teen age memory that, albeit mellowed by time, will never be forgotten…
Having to hear all those “where I was when” stories probably gets really old… but maybe not.
NOTE: I can’t “carry a tune in a bucket”. When I sing in the shower, the water turns itself off. I knew better than to tell my high school guidance counselor, Mrs Agnes Freeman, that “I wanna be a Righteous Brother”. Saying “I wanna be an Internet Legend” in the mid 60s got a few curious looks as I recall.
If I couldn’t be “a Righteous Brother” my back-up short list would be – in order – an Everly Brother – a Statler Brother – an Oak Ridge Boy – or a Beach Boy. Again, just based on the timelessness of their music, not the possible consequences of their celebrity. … Sure, I still think being a Major League umpire would be cool too.
Somewhere out there… is someone musing “I wish I coulda been “an Internet Legend” instead of a podiatrist.”?
Allowing that maybe I haven’t yet met everyone I’m destined to meet on this mortal coil, my short list of Most Special has a few names permanently engraved on it. “Handsome Bobby” was a First Ballot enshrinee.
Bobby and I first met in Kansas City in 1976. We were both judges for the NBA’s Kansas City Kings “Glitter Girl” auditions. Yeah, I know. Who doesn’t have “a Glitter Girls story”.
Among the uniqueness of our friendship is that we never have to give one another subtitles about our shared experiences… over almost 40 years.
Either of us can simply say “Born To Glitter… Cleopatra & Thunder Thighs”. That recounts that first meet… then there’s…
“Clyde King at The Royals Game” … “The Pretty Mamma Rule” … “Trader Vic’s” … “The Pony Express vs The Longhorns” … “Phil Ford’s first NBA Shower” … “Whatever “you people” do…” … “Sully… and a certain special occasion I subbed for Sully” … “Harriet & Elliott” … etc etc …
Do you have a friend who has… managed radio stations from Budapest to Mexico City… was an executive for two NBA teams… and started his own very successful cable/internet provider company. I do.
Oh, and, together with Pam The Lovely Liberal, raised three fine children into three fine young adults one of whom is becoming a real-life “Jack Ryan Jr.” WOW!
Consequences & Circumstances physically separated us in the mid 80s… save for the irregularly random “catch-up calls”. We don’t schedule our “catch-ups”. They just happen which makes them that much more special.
Blondie and I each brought our sets of “my friends” into our marriage 34 years ago. As you folks surely did. Some have remained and others have drifted away. Some have gained the lofty status of “Our Friends”.
“Handsome Bobby” definitely has Our Friend status along with “Leo”, “TheWillAllen”, “Coby” and a handful of others. … and, of course, “WhatsHisName”.
Blondie called while Handsome Bobby and I were catching-up. As soon as I said I was talking with Handsome Bobby; she got excited… “Oh WOW!… give him my love. Can’t wait to hear what’s going on.”
I hope each of you have “a Handsome Bobby” on your short list.
When we do “putt out on Life’s 18th hole” … accumulation of Special Friends and Special Memories should be among our most enduring and endearing possessions.
Yes, Humanity’s Handbasket’s Descent Into Hell made a significant drop this past week. Be honest… would you rather I’d recounted all that crap… or the above?
A simple Thank You BobLee will suffice.
IF You “Do Twitter”… Follow BobLee at @BobLeeSays