People, Color Don’t Matter

In critical race theory, DEI, and related leftist constructs, color means everything. So it comes as a surprise today to discover a video called “Color Don’t Matter.” It was posted by No Limit Twon, a young black man who recently discovered the Righteous Brothers, a band so named because a black Marine who heard them perform reportedly said “that’s righteous, brother.”

When the television performance begins, the pair of singers are first shown in silhouette. The lights come up to reveal Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield busting up their hit “You’ve Lost That Lovin Feeling,” in fine style. Twan is not the first to think they must be black, and to marvel at their vocal prowess without regard to their skin shade.

Consider also YouTuber AB the Kreator, hearing that same tune for the first time. This is “old school baby, this is throw-back, this is old-old,” he said, so “let’s give these brothers the stage.” After the first verse, AB proclaims “these brothers got soul.” Bill can “go low-low” and Bobby’s stratospheric notes emerge “from the deep barrels of the soul.” For AB, “these brothers are on fire.” The host wasn’t expecting them to be white but it was no problem and, he said, “I like that surprise.”

In his research on “the brothers of righteousness,” YouTuber MMBxMOB came across Bobby Hatfield’s live performance of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” in 1965. The black hoody-clad host digs it from the start, but when Bobby powers up “And the cotton is high,” the young responder has to stop and run it back.

“Bobby got soul!” and when Bobby closes out, at the peak of his incredible range, the host proclaims, “this brother just caught the Holy Ghost!” Just for fun, check out the response to the brothers on Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” It was just “insane,” in a good sense. In similar style, De Real Adogg pronounced the performance “so freaking good” and he was “enjoying the ride.” The brothers’ color don’t matter and for Bill and Bobby it never did.

Check them out in a live performance of  “Night Time is the Right Time” with The Blossoms, a black girl group headed by the great Darlene Love. See how they take turns blowing the roof off the place. As it happens, the Righteous Brothers and Blossoms are hardly the first examples of color-blind collaboration.

In the 1950s, many music fans thought the Silhouettes (“Get a Job”) and the Monotones “The Book of Love,” were all white. Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” revealed them to be all black. Groups that some fans thought were all-black, or maybe all-white, turned out to be black and white.

These included The Crests (“Sixteen Candles”), The Marcels (“Blue Moon”), The Del-Vikings “Come Go with Me,” and the Impalas (“I Ran All the Way Home”). As it happens, Johnny Otis (“Willie and the Hand Jive”) was actually Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes, the son of Greek immigrants, who one day simply decided he would be black.

In 1961, when they first heard “Hurt,” many thought Timi Yuro, “the little girl with the big voice,” was black. In 1964, when they heard “White on White,” many believed Danny Williams was the same color. In fact, Williams was a black man once hailed as Britain’s Johnny Mathis.  

In 1964, in the middle of the “British invasion,” Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield scored their first hit. Here they are on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1965, performing “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and check out Bobby’s live performance of “My Prayer.” As that Marine called out way back in the day, “that’s righteous, brother.” Soul has no color, talent has no color, and as No Limit Twon confirms, “color don’t matter.”

Bobby Hatfield passed away in 2003 and Bill Medley carries on at 83. As Bill said in 1964, something beautiful is now dying. The time has come to bring back that lovin’ feeling.

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