I built a melody on the riff while Cynthia shouted out lyrics: "Baby, baby, I get down on my knees for you" and so on. When we met the Righteous Brothers a few days later, we were nervous they might not like it.Cynthia is co-writer Cynthia Weil, who says:
Bill and Bobby [Hatfield, The Righteous Brothers] stood at the piano while Barry played and sang the melody and Phil sang harmony. At the end, there was dead silence. Bill said, "Sounds good — for the Everly Brothers." At first he didn't hear the soul. So Phil asked them to try it.Phil snapped, eh? Well, look out. Phil Spector is in prison right now, for killing a woman. Had you forgotten?
Mr. Mann: But Phil wanted Bill to sing the verses alone, with Bobby joining on the chorus.
Ms. Weil: They had always sung together, and Bobby wasn't happy. He said to Phil, "What am I supposed to do while the big guy is singing?" Phil snapped, "You can go to the bank."
I love the picture of Mann and Weil at the link. It's exactly the way I like to think songwriting teams of that era looked. It makes me want to get a shag rug and some index cards and lie down on the floor with my bare feet up on the sofa where Meade is stretched out, dressed in white (including white crew socks), strumming out some chords on the guitar. And I come up with lines about something beautiful dying or whatever and then our crazy friend comes in and bangs out the intro to "Louie Louie" or "Mony Mony" or "I Want Candy" and suddenly that's the bridge and I'm jotting on the index cards "We had a love...a love...a love you don't find every day..."