The Drifters

The Drifters are a legendary American R&B vocal group that has left an indelible mark on the music industry. Formed in 1953, The Drifters have undergone several lineup changes over the years but have maintained a timeless sound and enduring popularity. Their smooth harmonies, soulful performances, and chart-topping hits have solidified their status as one of the greatest vocal groups of all time.


The Drifters’ roots can be traced back to the vocal group The Dominoes, of which two members, Clyde McPhatter and Bill Pinkney, left to form The Drifters in 1953. The group signed with Atlantic Records and released their first hit single “Money Honey” in 1953, which peaked at number 2 on the R&B charts. The Drifters’ lineup saw frequent changes due to creative differences and contractual issues, but this did not hinder their success.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, The Drifters’ lineup stabilized, and they achieved widespread acclaim for hits like “Save The Last Dance For Me,” “Under The Boardwalk,” and “Stand By Me.” These songs have become timeless classics, captivating audiences with their heartfelt lyrics and soulful melodies. The group’s sound evolved over the years, blending elements of doo-wop, soul, and R&B to create a unique and unmistakable style.

Hits in the UK:

The Drifters have had a string of hits in the UK, resonating with audiences across generations. Some of their most notable chart-topping singles include:

1. “Save The Last Dance For Me” – Reached number 2 in the UK charts.
2. “Under The Boardwalk” – Peaked at number 45 in the UK.
3. “Saturday Night At The Movies” – Reached number 3 in the UK charts.
4. “Kissing In The Back Row Of The Movies” – Peaked at number 2 in the UK.


The Drifters have released a vast discography of albums, showcasing their range and versatility as a vocal group. Some of their most acclaimed albums include:

1. “Under The Boardwalk” (1964)
2. “Save The Last Dance For Me” (1962)
3. “Up On The Roof: The Best Of The Drifters” (1996)
4. “Golden Hits” (1968)

Awards and Achievements:

The Drifters have received numerous accolades and honors throughout their illustrious career. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, recognizing their significant contributions to the music industry. The group’s impact has been profound, inspiring countless artists and influencing the evolution of R&B and soul music.


The Drifters’ legacy continues to endure, with their music resonating with audiences around the world. Their timeless songs and soulful performances have left an indelible mark on the music industry, cementing their status as legends. The Drifters’ discography is a testament to their enduring talent and the enduring appeal of their music.

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