The Drifters were an R&B group formed in 1953 as a showcase for singer Clyde McPhatter. Prior to their first hit on the pop charts, they had eleven Top Ten songs on the R&B charts. The original lineup consisted of Clyde McPhatter, Gerhart and Andrew Thrasher, and Bill Pinkney.
When Clyde McPhatter left for a solo career, manager George Treadwell disbanded the rest of the group, brought in The Five Crowns, and renamed them The Drifters (perhaps The New Drifters would have been more like it). This new lineup included Ben E. King, Doc Green, Charlie Thomas and Elsbeary Hobbs. The majority of their Top 100 chart hits were sung by three different lead singers: Ben E. King (1959-60), Rudy Lewis (1961-63), and Johnny Moore (1957, 1964-66).
Clyde was born Clyde Lensley McPhatter on November 15, 1932 in Durham, North Carolina and sadly, he died of a heart attack at the young age of 39 on June 13, 1972. During his solo career, he charted 21 times, had 2 Top Ten hits and 1 Gold Record.
Treasure Island Oldies is pleased to spotlight Clyde McPhatter on Voice Your Choice. Cast your vote at the Voice our Choice page for either A Lover's Question or Lover Please. I'll play the winner on next week's show.