The Drifters are one of most famous groups from the 50s. Originally formed in 1953 to serve as backing group for Clyde McPhatter of “Billy Ward and his Dominoes”, they are still active to this day. Rolling Stone magazine states that the Drifters were the least stable of the great vocal groups, as they were low-paid musicians, hired by George Treadwell, who owned the Drifters name. There have been 60 vocalists in the history of the Treadwell Drifters line.
The first Drifters, formed by Clyde McPhatter, was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as “The Drifters”. The second Drifters, featuring Ben E. King, was separately inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as “Ben E. King and the Drifters”. In their induction, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame selected four members from the first Drifters, two from the second Drifters, and one from the post-Atlantic Drifters. The original Drifters managed to set musical trends and give the public 13 chart hits, most of which are legendary recordings today.
One of them is “Save the Last Dance for Me”. It was first recorded in 1960 by The Drifters, with Ben E. King on lead vocals. The song, released a few months after Ben E. King left the group, went on to spend three non-consecutive weeks at the number one on the U.S. pop chart, in addition to logging one week atop the U.S. R&B chart. The song was later covered by lots of famous names, including Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Michael Bublé.
Watch the Drifters’ amazing rendition in the video below and don’t forget to share your thoughts about it in the comments section!
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