Tracks on Philles 129
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The Lyrics to "Unchained Melody" was written in 1936 by 16 year old William Albert Stirrat, a.k.a Hy Zaret, when he was on a summer scholarship at Yaddo’s Triuna Arts of the Theatre School. At the school he met North, who composed the music.
It was featured in the film "Unchained" 1955, performed by Al Hibbler, who had been Duke Ellington’s vocalist and soon released on record. When it was released in 1955 (19 years after it was written), it became a Top 30 charted tune by four artists. And since then it has been on the charts at least six times again. Perhaps the most famous version is the one by the Righteous Brothers, who had a second chart success with the song when it was featured in the Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze film ‘Ghost’. The reissue in 1990, hit #1 in U.K.
The song was also featured in the film "Baby It’s You" (1983)
"Unchained Melody" was nominated in 1956 for an Oscar for Best Song, but did not win the award.
Stirrat, died in summer 2005. His lifetime career was in electronics, not in music. Alex North had asked him to team up with him to write lyrics, but Stirrat thought it was no way to earn a living.