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The great team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who wrote some songs for The Drifters, were asked to write the group's profile in Rolling Stone's rundown of the 100 greatest artists. The second paragraph described a bunch of hard working musicians.
We were both fans of the Drifters even before we started writing, and later producing, for them. There was a real tradition of great singers in the group: Clyde McPhatter, Johnny Moore, Ben E. King and Rudy Lewis. Yet for all their fantastic records, the Drifters had the least stable lineup of any of the great vocal groups. They were in essence a band of hired guns, overseen by their management. Let's just say this wasn't necessarily a situation where guys were getting rich off the royalties. (Continue Reading...)
The group soldiers on. It seems almost as if The Drifters areits own cover band, or something like that:
There are two notable versions of the Drifters. The first classic Drifters, formed by Clyde McPhatter, was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as "The Drifters" or "The Original Drifters". The second Drifters, featuring Ben E. King, was separately inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as "Ben E. King and the Drifters". In their induction, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame selected four members from the classic Drifters, two from the second Drifters, and one from the post-Treadwell Drifters.(Continue Reading...)
Wikipedia also told the sad story of the death of Rudy Lewis as the band prepared to record what turned out to be one of its great hits, Under the Boardwalk (above). It was written by Kenny Young and Arthur Resnick:
On May 21, 1964, when the group was due to record ”Under The Boardwalk”, which had been written for Lewis, he was found dead in his Harlem hotel room from the prior night. Former lead vocalist Johnny Moore was brought back to perform lead vocals for the recording. The next day, the Drifters recorded ”I Don't Want To Go On Without You”, which was led by Charlie Thomas in tribute to Lewis.Charlie Thomas was the one who closed Lewis' eyes when he was found dead.(Continue Reading...)
"Up On the Roof" (below) was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin.
Originally posted to cweinsch on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 06:10 AM PST.