Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Up On The Roof

This is setting the groundwork for the next post
from the youtube post along with two comments:
About This Video
Added: August 30, 2007
Ahmet Erteg√ľn of Atlantic Records approached Clyde McPhatter after he left the Dominoes and signed him. McPhatter first recruited several members of his former group, the Mount Lebanon Singers: William "Chick" Anderson (tenor), David Baldwin (baritone), and James "Wrinkle" Johnson (bass), plus David "Little Dave" Baughan (tenor). This aggregation lasted for only a single session (from which "Lucille" was the only song released), after which Atlantic asked McPhatter to form a different group. He finally settled on Gerhart and Andrew Thrasher on baritone and second tenor, respectively, Bill Pinkney on high tenor, Willie Ferbee as bass, and Walter Adams on guitar. This is the group on the second session, which produced the group's first major hit: "Money Honey".
After the session, Ferbee was involved in an accident and left the group and Adams died (to be replaced by Jimmy Oliver). Ferbee was not replaced and the voice parts were shifted around: Gerhart Thrasher became first tenor, Andrew Thrasher was now the baritone, and Bill Pinkney shifted down to bass. The group released several more hits ("Such A Night," [1][2] "Honey Love," "Bip Bam," "White Christmas," and "What'cha Gonna Do") before McPhatter was drafted in May 1954 (after which he pursued a solo career). McPhatter had demanded a large share of the group's profits, which he had been denied in the Dominoes, but, upon his departure, did not ensure that this would continue for his successor. He sold his share of the group to George Treadwell, manager, former jazz trumpeter, and husband of legendary singer Sarah Vaughan. As a result, the Drifters cycled through copious members, none of whom made much money. McPhatter later expressed regret at this action, recognizing that it doomed his fellow musicians to unprofitability.
McPhatter was first replaced by David Baughn, who was on the group's first session. While his voice was similar to McPhatter's, his erratic behavior made him unsuitable in the eyes of Atlantic Records executives. Baughn soon left the group, and was replaced by Cleveland native Johnny Moore (of The Hornets). This lineup had a major R&B hit in 1955 with "Adorable," followed by several others ("Ruby Baby," "I Got To Get Myself A Woman," and "Fools Fall In Love").
In the mid 1950s, the Drifters began working with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, legendary songwriters, who eventually became the group's producers as well. A few fans consider this the group's golden age, inaugurated by the 1956 hit "I Gotta Get Myself a Woman." Low salaries contributed to burnout among the members, particularly Bill Pinkney, who was fired after asking Treadwell for more money. Andrew Thrasher left as well, in protest. Pinkney formed another group, called The Flyers, with lead singer Bobby Hendricks, who would leave to join the Drfiters the next year.
Bill Pinkney was replaced by Tommy Evans (who had replaced Jimmy Ricks in The Ravens). Charlie Hughes, a baritone, replaced Andrew Thrasher. Johnny Moore was drafted in November 1957 and replaced by Bobby Hendricks, but to no success; the group was not able to break into mainstream markets. By early 1958, the lineup was: Bobby Hendricks (lead tenor), Gerhart Thrasher (first tenor), Jimmy Milner (baritone), Tommy Evans (bass), and Jimmy Oliver (guitar).
By May 1958, both Hendricks and Oliver had quit, returning only for a week's appearance at the Apollo Theater. During that week, one of the members got into a fight with the owner of the Apollo. That was the last straw for manager George Treadwell, who fired the entire group. Since Treadwell owned the rights to the name "Drifters," and since he still had a year's worth of bookings for the Apollo, he recruited another group, The Five Crowns, featuring lead singer Ben E. King. The group changed its name to the "Drifters" and went out on the road to tour for almost a year, although this new group had no connection to the prior Drifters. (less)
This video was made just weeks after the tragic death of lead singer, Rudy Lewis, who sang the lead for this song on the actual recording......the song was written by Carole King and Jerry Goffen. The lead singer in this video is Johnny Moore, who takes over for the original lead singer to this song Rudy Lewis who had passed away when this performance was filmed.

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