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Paul Shaffer to ‘monkey’ around with Righteous Brothers

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September 10, 2020 By John Katsilometes

Paul Shaffer has questions.

For Bill Medley, specifically. About the Righteous Brothers, of course. And the old TV show “Shindig.”

This was an early-1960s ABC music series that threw the spotlight on all the top rock ‘n’ roll acts of the time. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, James Brown, The Supremes and the Everly Brothers were among the many top rockers to join the “Shindig” shindig.

Shaffer remembers:

“The Righteous Brothers were regulars on ‘Shindig,’ and they were part of this rock history lesson I would watch after school. Every week, they always seemed to sing the same song, ‘Koko Joe,’ about a little monkey. It was a circus act. I learned later that Sonny Bono wrote the song, and it wasn’t one of Sonny’s best. But year after year, they sang that song. I finally get to ask why.”

That happens at 6 p.m. as Medley and Bucky Heard kick off The Space online streaming series. The performances are a partnership between the Vegas entertainment facility and the Broadway World online entertainment publication. The shows post to TheSpace.com and BroadwayWorld.com. Pay-per-view tickets are $20-$30 and are available at TheSpaceLV.com.

The Righteous Brothers appear again Sept. 16, 23 and 30.

Shaffer and actor John Stamos are dropping in, via digital connection, during the series premiere. Shaffer worked with Medley and Righteous Brothers co-founder Bobby Hatfield when the duo was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

“We blew the budget with this full orchestra, a total wall of sound, for the Righteous Brothers,” Shaffer recalled. “It was worth it. The two of them sounded like angels.”

Shaffer fronted his own Las Vegas residency in 2019, with his Shaff-Shifters band at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace. Medley and Heard stopped in to sing with the band during one of those performances.

“Now I will return the favor,” Shaffer said. “That’s how they do it in Vegas, right?”


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