Saturday, November 15, 2014

Record #0607: Drip Drop / Moonlight Bay – THE DRIFTERS

Atlantic 1187 (original) USA, May 1958
Words & Music bySide AJerry Leiber, Mike Stoller; Side BPercy Wenrich, Edward Madden
Musicians: Bobby Hendricks (lead vocals), Gerhart Thrasher (tenor), Jimmy Millender (baritone), Tommy Evans (bass vocals), Jimmy Oliver (guitar), others unknown, including an unknown group of white singers (vocals on side B)
Recording sessions: Produced by Leiber & Stoller in New York, NY, Apr. 28, 1958
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #58; Side B - US #72

The Drifters had gone through many line-up changes by this time, and this was the first session for this particular line-up. It also ended-up being the last one.

Side A is a good rocking Leiber-Stoller tune, but you may say what the <bleep> when you hear the flip-side. It sounds like a totally different group ... and that's because it mostly is. The recording of it was supposed to be an experimental session. Supposedly it was that in some sense. Evans and Trasher showed up drunk. The group did some 30 takes and at the end Hendricks started to lose his voice. None of those takes were good, and it didn't really help that the engineer had tried out some multi-track recording, which didn't quite go as planned. Afterwards Leiber and Stoller brought in a group of white singers to "patch" the vocals.  At least to me it sounds like they patched the whole thing - all I can hear on the track are honky vocals.

Soon after this session Hendricks and Oliver left the group and their manager George Treadwell fired everybody else. Treadwell hired a group called "The Five Crowns" and renamed them "The Drifters". That line-up had Ben E. King singing the lead.

List price:  Very Good+ is $15, Near Mint is $30

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