One great thing about the internet in general (and Wikipedia in particular) is that I can look up various songs I’ve heard through my life and find out a.) what they lyrics really are, and b.) details about how they were written and recorded.
Unchained Melody – I’ve heard the song a lot, even before they used it for Ghost, but I’ve never seen the movie Unchained, nor know anything about it.
In case you want to know, now:
Interesting thing about the song – the melody of Unchained Melody was written by Alex North (who I know better as a film score composer – he did the music for Spartacus, and the original score for 2001, which Kubrick scrapped) 'way back in 1936!
He offsered it to Bing Crosby, who turned it down. Imagine Bing singing it in his deep voice.
Todd Duncan sang it for the film (even appearing in the movie) and it was nominated for the 1955 Best Song Oscar, but lost. The version I know was recorded by The Righteous Brothers (well, one of them, anyone, although both get credit) ten years later. But a lot of people covered it before (and after ) them.
Close to You – The quintessential Carpenters song from 1970. When a friend first reported its lyrics to me, I couldn’t believe anyone would write such a sappy song. But Burt Bachrach and Hal David did. Only the Carpenters weren’t the first to record it, by a long shot. It was first released seven years earlier, sung by — Richard Chamberlain!
Yes! Dr. Kildare sang, long before he was in The Thorn Birds or Shogun! The mind boggles. Then Dionne Warwich did it, and Burt himself, before the Carpenters made it their breakthrough hit.