UNCHAINED MELODY

Latest update on 03/02/2015

Artist: Todd Duncan
Author: Alex North/Hy Zaret
Year: 1955

Vocal version in black & white film Unchained, shot on location in the Chino prison in California. Nominated for an Oscar. There's this persistent but unfounded rumour Hy Zaret wrote these lyrics in 1936 as a nameless poem for his girlfriend under the name William Stirret, while his real name was Hyman Zaritsky.

Covers:

1955:

Al Hibbler [blind black singer, later a notorious civil rights movement activist, n°1 R&B; released simultaneously with the Les Baxter instrumental]

1955:

Les Baxter [n°1 US; as instrumental; also from that film]

1955:

Roy Hamilton [n°1 R&B]

1955:

Jimmy Young [n°1 UK]

1955:

Crew Cuts

1955:

Chet Atkins

1955:

Liberace

1955:

Cab Calloway

1955:

Goons [parody]

1956:

Gene Vincent

1956:

Mouloudji [als Les Enchaînés]

1958:

Conway Twitty

1958:

Ricky Nelson

1958:

Harry Belafonte

1959:

Bobby Day

1960:

Charlie Rich

1960:

Ray Conniff

1961:

Cliff Richard

1961:

Tony Sheridan

1962:

Platters

1962:

Duane Eddy

1962:

Arthur Prysock

1963:

Vito & The Salutations

1964:

Waylon Jennings

1964:

Brenda Holloway

1964:

Bobby Vinton

1965:

Righteous Brothers [reissue in 1990 in film Ghost; n°1 UK & NL]

1965:

Dionne Warwick

1965:

Sonny & Cher

1965:

Gerry & The Pacemakers

1965:

Gene Pitney

1965:

César et les Romains [as Mon seul amour]

1966:

Supremes

1968:

Arthur Prysock

1968:

Sweet Inspirations

1968:

David Garrick [hit NL]

1969:

Roy Orbison

1969:

Roy Clark

1969:

Little Jimmy Scott

1970:

Floyd Cramer

1972:

Blue Haze

1973:

Al Green

1973:

Road

1976:

Stylistics

1977:

Elvis Presley

1978:

Willie Nelson

1979:

George Benson

1981:

Will Tura [as Oh My Love]

1981:

Heart

1982:

Joni Mitchell [mixed in Chinese Café]

1985:

Manhattan Transfer

1986:

Richard Clayderman

1986:

Leo Sayer

1991:

Roy Hamilton

1994:

Clarence Gatemouth Brown

1994:

Christian Delagrange [as Vivre seul]

1995:

Robson & Jerome [n°1 UK in medley with There'll Be Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs Of Dover]

1995:

Air Supply

1997:

LeAnn Rimes [n°1 C&W]

1998:

U2

1998:

Neil Diamond

2000:

Sven Wang [on Chinese violin]

2002:

Gareth Gates [fourth time n°1 UK; winner talent contest Pop Idol]

2003:

Cyndi Lauper

2005:

Il Divo [as Senza Catene]

2010:

Clay Aiken

2011:

Susan Boyle

Alex North scored a few Hollywood superproductions like Anthony & Cleopatra and Spartacus, Hy Zaret also wrote One Meat Ball (see there). When asked to score the film Unchained, they logically came up with Unchained Melody. Todd Duncan sang it in the film, but some twenty versions on some twenty different labels competed for suppremacy on the charts. Big winner in America was the semi-instrumental version by Les Baxter on Capitol. One year later this bandleader had a second n°1 with The Poor People Of Paris, a (bad) translation of Edith Piaf's La Goualante du pauvre Jean. Poor People indeed means something else than Poor John.

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

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