Sunday, December 23, 2007
The Righteous Brothers - Justine
A very happy holiday season to everyone. I hope that the coming year is a good one for all. I want to thank everybody who reads this blog, even if you only stop in occasionally. It is much appreciated. I meant to get today's record up several days ago but we've all been a little under the weather this past week, so I'm just now finding the time.
If you only know the Righteous Brothers for their oldies radio fare, then you don't REALLY know them. I mean, there's nothing wrong with "Soul and Inspiration" or "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", other than being terribly overplayed. I won't even go into "Unchained Melody". But, from those tunes, you'd get the idea that the boys were nothing but balladeers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Before the hits that you know them for today, the Righteous Brothers recorded a bunch of material for the Moonglow label. Their first single for the imprint was the original version of "Little Latin Lupe Lu" in 1963, written by one half of the duo, Bill Medley. Moonglow went on to release no fewer than a dozen Righteous Brothers singles right on to 1966, by which time they'd scored hits with the Philles label and were getting started out on Verve.
As luck would have it, no fewer than five of the Righteous Brothers' Moonglow singles have fallen into my hands over the past year. This after running across nary a one for the longest time. Just about everything I've found has been worthwhile, with "Justine" being my favorite of the bunch.
"Justine" has become a rock and roll standard of sorts. Performed by numerous artists over the past half century, it was written and originally recorded by Don and Dewey for the Specialty label in 1958.
The Righteous Brothers deliver a raucous version of the tune, kicking off with the obligatory shouted "Justine" and proceeding with their patented traded vocals. The song carries a big beat wallop and a nice harmonica break. Soul and inspiration indeed!