Hy Zaret, who wrote the haunting lyrics for Unchained Melody died at age 99 this week. Unchained Melody was one of the most recorded songs of the last century. The version most of us knew was the Righteous Brothers one that had a resurgence in the movie Ghost.
According to stories I read about the song, he was asked to write it for the film Unchained and he did it without using the word unchained in the lyrics. My personal favorite version of the song is Willie Nelson’s.
Seven or eight years ago, Niki and I took my mom and her husband to see Righteous Brothers in Atlantic City a few years before Bobby Hatfield died. Mainly I did this because Unchained Melody was my mom’s favorite song. Afterwards I asked her how the show was. She loved it. I asked how she liked Unchained Melody. She loved it. I said, “That’s your favorite song, right?” She said, “No. I do love that song, but my favorite song is House of the Rising Sun.”
So I kept an eye out for Eric Burden shows and ended up taking her to see him at B.B. King’s in New York City. We watched a great show that included House of the Rising Sun. I got to cross that one off of my list.
A few weeks ago I took my dad to see Chicago at Jones Beach for Father’s Day. I knew they were one of his favorite bands when I was a kid and at least he didn’t tell me after the show that he’d rather have seen The Doors.