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date: 12 November 2019

Drifters, thelocked

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Name used by various rhythm-and-blues vocal groups. The first of these was active from 1953 to 1958, the second from 1959. The first group’s original members were Clyde McPhatter (b Durham, NC, 15 Nov 1932; d New York, NY, 13 June 1972; lead vocals), Bill Pinkney (b Sumter, SC, 15 Aug 1925; d Daytona Beach, FL, 4 July 2007), Andrew Thrasher (b Wetumpka, AL), and Gerhart Thrasher (b Wetumpka); their first successful recordings were “Money Honey” (Atl., 1953), “White Christmas” (Atl., 1954), and “Whatcha gonna do” (Atl., 1955). At the end of 1954 McPhatter left the group on his induction into the US Army; he was succeeded by a number of lead singers, including Dave Baughn, Johnny Moore, and Bobby Hendricks, before the group disbanded in 1958. The following year George Treadwell, who had been the Drifters’ manager and retained the rights to their name, hired a group called the Five Crowns to fulfill their remaining tour obligations, and renamed them the Drifters. The new ensemble included the baritone Ben(jamin) E(arl) King (Nelson; ...

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