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Friday, July 06, 2007


Rock and Roll Heaven

The last surviving member of The Drifters, Bill Pinkney, died yesterday. YouTube carries various Drifters hits - Up on the Roof, Under the Boardwalk, and a recent version of their very first hit, Money Honey. One you can't find there, and which really shows off their smooth sound, is On Broadway:

But here at Left I on the News, in our never-ending quest to honor the past while simultaneously revolutionizing the future, we don't stop there. No, we offer here a live, up-tempo version of another great Drifters song, There Goes My Baby. This version is taken from an album (right) entitled "Live from the Brooklyn Fox in his Record Breaking Show, Murray the K." Murray the K was, along with Alan Freed, perhaps the most influential DJ in the birth of Rock 'n Roll, as well as the precursor of Bill Graham in his production of live shows. He produced a series of shows featuring all the major groups of the time; this one was from Christmas, 1963. In the song, you get to hear not only the Drifters, but Murray the K as well. "There Goes My Baby" was the first R&B song to feature a Latin rhythm and string section, although that isn't obvious in this live version.

Incidentally, you shouldn't be surprised to hear that both of these songs, and many others recorded by the Drifters, were written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller.


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