The Righteous Cure for Lupus

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By Tracey Smith, Special to the Independent

Bill Medley with Linda Hatfield, wife is his former singing partner.
Bill Medley with Linda Hatfield, wife is his former singing partner.

Music possesses a myriad of unique attributes that can elevate a mood or improve motivation, but it also has beneficial healing properties as well.

This holiday season the gift of song will be given to residents, patients and fans by Bill Medley, a former member of the Righteous Brothers. On Tuesday, Dec. 2, Medley and his band will host a benefit for The Lupus International Foundation at the Lido Live Theater in Newport Beach. The fundraiser will cost $150 per ticket, which will include a pre-party and dinner. The proceeds will go toward the continued support as well as research and development of this chronic, autoimmune disease.

Medley and his fellow band mates are loyal as well as committed to this cause. “My partner, Bobby Hatfield, his wife Linda battled lupus for years. The Hatfield family started a benefit for Lupus International 26 years ago and I remain committed to supporting his legacy and helping a great cause,” he said.

Hatfield and Medley had hopes of hosting a golf tournament, accompanied with dinner and a show, but unfortunately Hatfield died and his wife asked Medley to carry on the cause, said event coordinator Christina Kelly, who provided the backstory to the event in its fifth year at this venue.

Medley did what came natural to him, which was to fulfill Linda Hatfield’s wishes by continuing to carry the torch for lupus. Sadly, Linda Hatfield also lost her battle to the disease. Now, Medley remains vehement about giving something back and following through on her wishes. He volunteered his time, he helped promote the show and made sure every dollar would be utilized to support lupus.

Each year the show has successfully sold out, 550 tickets are sold and the audience is filled with patients or people who have a close connection to someone who may be battling lupus. The nostalgia of the event is palpable; people remember a song that they were married to or simply reminisce. This is when the healing properties of music truly are evident.

Medley isn’t alone in shouldering responsibility, Kelly said. “The band has been incredible. They all come in and help and it’s been a win win for everybody,” she said.

From right, keyboard players Tim Lee, singer songwriter Bill Medley, drummer Gabe Rabben, singer Mckenna Medley, guitarists Bob Gulley and Larry Hampton.
From right, keyboard players Tim Lee, singer songwriter Bill Medley, drummer Gabe Rabben, singer Mckenna Medley, guitarists Bob Gulley and Larry Hampton.

Among the band mates is former Laguna Beach resident and Medley drummer Gabe Rabben, who has acquired the moniker of “The Adopted Righteous Brother”. Rabben has performed for every Lido Theater performance.

“The people who are behind the scenes that makes this event a success are these band members who donate their time for a charity, and lose a night where they could get paid somewhere else,” Kelly said.

Rabben has had the good fortune to have Medley as a mentor. He plays several instruments, sings backup, and has also written music with Medley’s daughter, McKenna. “I couldn’t have asked for a better person to work for; obviously he’s a legend in the music industry,” Rabben said. “I’ve been doing this for five or six years and I get to meet great people associated with the organization. I’ve met some great people who have lupus. It’s an amazing cause to donate to and to create such a great event and the band is honored to do it every year.

“Music is a connection into the spiritual side of things that is attainable, that allows people to feel good. Music can bring an amazing impact on people with all kinds of issues may it be a disease or just making you smile. I’m happy that people love it and appreciate it.

“Growing up in Laguna Beach was like paradise, and the music community there is awesome. It was a very supportive art community; and it was very crucial and integral in making me the musician I am today.”

Tickets are available for Lido Live, 3459 Via Lido, at (949) 723-0250.

 

Tracey Smith is a freelance publicist, Editor-at-Large for EDGE Magazine, a contributor to The Huffington Post and a member of New York Women in Film and Television.

 

 

 

 

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