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Righteous Brother sings alone at service

Righteous Brothers
Hatfield, left, and Medley after their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March.

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IRVINE, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- The surviving member of the Righteous Brothers sang a gospel song alone Tuesday as family, friends and fans remembered his late partner, Bobby Hatfield, at a memorial service filled with music and funny stories.

"I'm going to miss our two-part harmony. I'm going to miss our rock and roll. I'm going to miss looking to my right on stage and seeing my friend," said Bill Medley, whose hits with Hatfield included "Unchained Melody" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling."

Addressing Hatfield, he added, "I want you to rest as well as you lived."

Hatfield, who with Medley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died last week in a hotel room in Kalamazoo, Michigan, shortly before the duo was to perform.

Hundreds turned out at the public memorial service at the non-denominational Mariners Church in Irvine. Pictures of Hatfield were on display, many of which showed him with a microphone. A video montage showed the Righteous Brothers performing their best-known songs.

"I have 41 years of stories about Bobby and I ... none of which I can tell you in this church," Medley said.

In a very emotional moment, he sat at a piano and performed the gospel song "Precious Lord." Before he sang, he said, "I do this for the Hatfield family. And only for you, Bobby, would I do this."

Members of the family, including Hatfield's children, talked about private family moments. And members of the Righteous Brothers band talked about their years of performing.

Comedian Brad Garrett, one of the stars of "Everybody Loves Raymond," recalled opening for the group in the late 1980s. He said Hatfield and Medley treated him like family.

"Bobby was really a mentor because he was the only one who could out-drink and out-gamble me," he joked.

Garrett said the first time they had dinner together, Hatfield warned him not to eat garlic bread, telling him it would give him "dragon breath." For days afterwards, Garrett said, Hatfield teased him about his breath by calling it "abominable."

Garrett said that at one point he took the stage and saw that Hatfield had taped a canister of breath spray to the microphone.

He said he last heard from Hatfield weeks ago, when he was the butt of another joke. Hatfield told Garrett in a letter he had seriously considered asking Garrett to play him in a movie about his life. But Hatfield wrote that he changed his mind after seeing Garrett "crash and burn" in his Emmy-nominated portrayal of Jackie Gleason last year.

"I don't think it's a good career move on my behalf," Hatfield wrote.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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