Thursday, March 26, 2009


The Legendary Atlantic Bell/Arista group is currently in it's 55th year as an
entity. A dynasty which started in early 1953 an has endured these many years
as one of the most unusual music stories in the history of musical entertainment.

Spawned by the vision of George Treadwell an Ahmet Ertegun and the 1953
original lineup of Clyde McPhatter, Bill Pickney, Andrew (Bubba) and Gerhart Thrasher.

The Drifters have had over 60 or more members who have grace it's lineup
over the past 55 years. Some more significant than others, those that made it
to records, books, television an other media and those who never saw the light
of day pass one show or so.

The Drifters an it's organization have had three golden periods and 5 significant
lineups throughout it's history.

Currently there are a handful of Original members respective of the eras they
came in who are still around.

Bobby Hendricks, Johnny Terry, Ben E King, Charlie Thomas, Rick Sheppard
Butch Leake, Clyde Brown, Joe Blunt and Billy Lewis.

These men are some of the Legends that are still with us....

In the UK a new group which you can say will bring in with success, the forth
golden period under the Treadwell family name who owns the service mark,
are performing to sell out audiences and are set to release some new songs
for this period....

It was during the early 70s that Faye Treadwell the Widow of the Legendary
George Treadwell brought then the line up of Johnny Moore, Butch Leake, Bill
Fredricks and Grant Kitchings to the UK and signed with the Bell/Arista label.

That signing spawned the Hits "Kissin in the Backrow of the Movies, "There
Goes My First Love" "Love Games" "Like Sister And Brother" Which topped
the British and European charts throughout the 70s.

After 1974, there were to be replacements for the original Bell group with
Clyde Brown replacing Bill Fredricks and Billy Lewis replacing Grant Kitchings.

At the end of 1975, Butch Leake is replaced by Joe blunt.

It was the linup of Johnny Moore, Clyde brown, Joe Blunt and Billy Lewis
that are noted for "More Than A Number In My Little Red Book"

After this period a number of replacement were in an out up through the 90s
with Johnny at one period attempting a new solo career which was short lived.

Both Bill Fredricks an Butch Leake went on to solo careers in the UK and Europe.

Grant Kitchings returned to the United States an joined the Legendary Ink Spots.

After a number of legal battles in the USA & UK. The Drifters LLC is owned by the original Treadwell family Headed By Tina Treadwell the daughter of Faye and George Treadwell.

The World wide Licensing right is controled by PMG Music & Entertainment UK.

For more information go to or click on the title above
who's who with The Drifters.........

Butch Leake.........


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