Bill Medley on music and throat cancer, Graham Bonnet talks latest album and Manfred Mann’ Chris Thompson walks us through his career

Bill Medley on life without Bobby and the Blues

The Righteous Brothers enjoyed a string of top-ten hits, including the most played song in radio history, ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin Feelin.’ The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame duo of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, originally from Orange County, topped the charts for four decades. After Bobby’s death in 2003, Bill Medley continued to perform to sold-out crowds around the world, but fans and friends pleaded with him to keep The Righteous Brothers alive so eventually Bill found Bucky Heard  – someone who could help him recreate the magic.

The Bill Medley/Bucky Heard pairing came as something of a happy accident. Bill said it just seemed right. Today the two perform all the time in Vegas and at 81 years of age, Bill is still going strong – despite a battle with throat cancer recently.

I caught up with him in Vegas. Here’s my zoom interview below. What a lovely and talented man he is.

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Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes - Time of My Life

And that incredible ‘Unchained Melody.’ Look out for Bill Medley’s new album too. ‘Your Heart to Mine’ dedicated to The Blues.

Meet Chris Thompson - singer, songwriter and all round good guy

English singer and guitarist, Chris Thompson is known both for his work with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, especially for his lead vocal on the classic hit ‘Blinded By the Light’ and for his solo accomplishments. Chris was born in the UK but raised in New Zealand. He landed a job with Manfred Mann’s Earthband in 1976, leaving them in 1979 to form the Los Angeles based outfit Night. 

John Farnham records 'You're The Voice' despite protestations from Chris

In 1986 Chris was one of the four co-writers of the hit song ‘You’re the Voice’ – the others being Andy Qunta of the Australian new wave outfit, Icehouse, Procol Harum lyricist Keith Reid and Maggie Ryder. He hoped to record the song in London but was turned down by record companies who said the song was not commercial enough. In a chat with me from his home in Belgium Chris tells me how John Farnham managed to snag the tune despite his best efforts to prevent him from doing so.

 Meet the irrepressible Chris Thompson here during my zoom chat with him. Warning – he’s quite a character!
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Graham Bonnet's new album sees the singer giving it all he's got.

In the 70’s we all loved Graham Bonnet’s ‘Warm Ride.’ But his career had already been going for sometime at that point. He cut his teeth in the psychedelic-steeped world of late 60’s rock with his cousin Trevor Gordon in the duo The Marbles, featuring a collaborative effort with the Bee Gees. But Graham’s soaring tenor always seemed destined to harder and heavier sonic territory. He spent time with Richie Blackmore in Rainbow and he honed a formidable stage presence. Next he connected with Neo-classical metal maestro Yngwie Malmsteen which further shaped him. 

Today the Graham Bonnet Band brings a wealth of experience and credibility to the table and their latest studio LP ‘Day Out Of Nowhere’ is more than impressive.  Graham is joined by several awesome musicians none the least of which is his on and off stage partner, Beth Ami-Heavenstone. Joining me from his home in L.A recently, Graham jokes about his past and indulges in his present. Check out one of the album tracks here. If you like it heavy and rocking, you’re going to love the re-incarnation of Graham Bonnet.

Graham Bonnet chats on zoom about his girlfriend, music and latest album

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New music releases this week:

Van Morrison has a new album out this week that’s just awesome. It’s his 43 studio album called ‘What’s it Gonna Take’ and it features 15 new compositions that prove Van’s still one of the world’s greatest artists.

 

My favourite watch - Shining Girls Season 1

Have I already suggested that you watch this on Apple TV +? AN eight part series that drops weekly starring Emmy award winner Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Wagner Moura (Narcos) in this reality warping mystery series based on the novel by Lauren Beukes. If you feel like being chilled and gripped, this one is for you.

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