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The Drifters represent more than the
story of a single group’s
success. Changes in personnel and management have led over the
years to the sprouting of many Drifters permutations since organizer
CLYDE MCPHATTER first went to the Atlantic Recording Company.
When Atlantic rejected McPhatter's initial singers (The Mt. Lebanon
Gospel Singers), he recruited versatile gospel singers BILL PINKNEY
from the Southern Knights, and brothers GEARHARDT and ANDREW
THRASHER from The Thrasher Wonders to join forces with him. They
signed with the company in 1953, thereby establishing the foundation
upon which a music legacy was subsequently built.
Thirty five years later in 1988,
originals McPhatter, Gearhardt Thrasher,
and Pinkney, along with subsequent Drifters Johnny Moore, Ben E. King,
Rudy Lewis, and CharlieThomas were inducted into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame. It's staff filmed Pinkney’s oral history for archival
as a part of its Legends Series in March, 2000.