Air Week: December 5-11, 2016
The Drifters would become the most successful vocal group in history, charting hit after hit for over 20 years, with no less than a dozen different lead singers. This week, the “Juke In The Back” spotlights The Drifters’ first chapter with the great high tenor of Clyde McPhatter out front. The group was created by Atlantic Records in order to showcase McPhatter’s beautiful and powerful voice after his 2 year stint with Billy Ward & The Dominos ended. McPhatter never got the money or the recognition that he deserved from Billy Ward and after learning of his departure from the group, Atlantic co-founder Ahmet Ertegun was eager to sign him to Atlantic. It was a smart decision as McPhatter’s new group, The Drifters, scored a #1 R&B record right off the bat with “Money Honey” in 1953. They would score another #1 a year later with “Honey Love” as well as five other charting hits before McPhatter left the group in 1955 for a solo career. The Drifters would continue to have huge chart success as would McPhatter, but this week, Matt The Cat focuses on The Drifters’ genesis.