Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Drifter Wars "Battle For Supremacy"

Call it what you may! But the Drifter wars have been going on for as long as the name Drifters have been in existence. Not long after 1958, Bill Pinkney was having much displeasure with the Treadwell management with disputes over money issues. The disputes eventually would lead to a breakup and formation of splinter groups which have plagued the organization ever since. The Drifters for the most part became one of the  most unstable outfits in showbiz history. Yet this change of personnel over the years became somewhat the hallmark of success but sadly has been destructive to it's members through in fighting for supremacy for the top group in the marketplace. It has also created a host of hybrid, pirate and tribute acts which have lent to the erosion of the brand as we have known it. Pinkney as road manager had a better grasp of the financial situation than any other member of the group, and was always fighting with management for more money for the singers. As soon as the old drifters were fired by Treadwell at the Apollo Theatre he wasted no time forming a new group composed of original members Gerhart and Andrew Thrasher and Little David Baughan who would replace Clyde McPhatter who at the time was busy with a solo career. They would call themselves The Original Drifters. Looking at the facts! though Treadwell had now formed a new group of Drifters from the Crowns. Bill Pinkneys Original Drifters who had recorded such songs as "Honey Bee" and "Know Sweet lovin" in 1955, musically had more right to the name, though the Crowns were the legal group using it. Pinkney in 1978 finally officially won his right to the use of the name The original Drifters after a succession of singers over the years. Sadly Bill Pinkney, last of the original Drifters and first of the Original Drifters, passed away on July 4, 2007 at age 81.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Common Exploitation

Can it be a wonder why I am so disturbed over what I'm seeing in the marketplace when it come to the proliferation of Drifters acts around the world and particularly in what I'm seeing in the UK today. Never really thought the problem would develop there as it has developed in other parts of the world particularly the United States. Then there is the use of our names by acts who have really never had any association with the original member's but hoodwink the fan base as if that was the case. Let me be clear! When I say original members I mean recording members of The Drifters or that of any act that is going through the same exploitation. I constantly hear the excuse that we are keeping the music alive as if the music is dead. Give me a break! As I have said on many occasions, this exploitation has become a cottage industry for many out there to include promoters, agents and artist. In all honesty, the problems that are so prominent now began with the original handlers when they created the employee status of hire and fire which caused members to form new acts around themselves. The problem with this was the members of these acts who never were part of the original lineups formed hybrid act which continued to morph. Now it's out of control with everyone trying to sue each other for a use of a name. Yet those who should benefit from any of this sit on the sidelines watching the madness. In the United states legislation has tried to come up with a fix to all of this under The Truth In music doctrine which states, there should be at least one original member that is recording member in the act to have any legitimacy. Though it works to a certain degree it hasn't stopped the proliferation of so-called dubious tribute acts and name poachers. the other grey area is trade names wholly owned by corporate entities who can stick anyone in there who they please circumventing the whole legislation.


Monday, February 9, 2015

D Legends Resurrection
E-mail us at thedrifterslegendsclubhouse

So what has happened to the Drifters Legends? A very interesting question due to all the would be Drifter outfits out in the market place trading on the name and the work of the original members who some at this very day and time can't earn a living in what they do best. It seems that there is a general consensus among many of the fans that there are know more original members out there anymore! so the market place has been filled with would be pirate acts, tribute bands etc.
The fact is much of the generation in this day an time have never seen or heard the men who were the pioneers of the music that they have grown to love and just except things as they are without checking on the authenticity of the acts they go to see. In many cases thinking they are seeing the original article. True many of the recording members are gone now but there are a handful who still exist among us and are still capable of carrying on the true tradition of the music as it was noted for.
Currently, D Legends is revving up for a return to stage in the next year or so. The members include half of the original Bell Arista Recording members who gave you such songs as There Goes My First Love, Love Games, Kissing In The Back Row Of The Movies, Down on The Beach Tonight and Your More Than A Number In My Little Red Book. Plus many more of the great hits that you know and grew to love. Then there are the Atlantic group members who continue to perform in this day and time Charlie Thomas, Bobby Hendricks, Rick Sheppard and the Legendary Ben E King all of which are also the recording members from the Atlantic years. So if you are looking for authenticity stay tuned to what will be coming out from The Drifters Legends Clubhouse. You can log into the Clubhouse website for on going national, world events and all that is happening in the Legends Universe. The Address there is You can also email us at