From the Land of Band Box Records

Johnny Moore Discography

David Baughan Era to Johnny Moore Era/s

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The next lead singer – David Baughan – didn’t last long – the operatives at Atlantic Records were put off by his difficult and unmanageable attitude.  And so he was replaced by the lead vocalist for a group called “The Hornets” – Johnny Moore.

The Army called once again, taking Moore in 1957 an so on came Bobby Hendricks.  Bobby fronted the group for only one hit of any significance, “Drip Drop” in the spring of 1958.  Hendricks would then depart in May of 1958 – and this was just before Treadwell fired the entire lineup due to an argument during a performance at Harlem’s Apollo Theater with that institution’s management.

Johnny Moore would step aside from the Drifters in 1982 completely worn out from performing and touring but would organize his own group while residing in London.

Hollis/Hendricks/Moore Eras

There would be a succession of lesser known leads – Bobby Lee Hollis being one – Bobby Hendricks came back and then left again and then some stability was achieved with the addition of Ben E. King in 1958.  With King at the lead microphone, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller had been brought in by Atlantic to take over production duties and the Drifters thrived.

(Johnny Moore also recorded as “Johnny Darrow” after coming back home from his stint in the Army – His birth name was John Darrel Moore)

Rudy Lewis Era

This ushered in the Rudy Lewis era, overlapping a bit with the addition for a second time of Johnny Moore.  These two would anchor the Drifters as leads through a very successful chart era.  Rudy would die suddenly  on May 20th, 1964 the night before the group was to record “Under the Boardwalk”.  Moore took over lead duties once again.

Bill Pickney Era

 Bill Pinkney

A side note: Original Drifter Bill Pickney who served in the second tenor role – switched to bass replacing Drifter Willie Ferbie – and his voice was prominent on the hits “Honey Love”, “Adorable”, “Ruby Baby” and famously on “White Christmas” interlacing vocals with Clyde McPhatter.

Bill’s first recording apart from the Drifters was on Sam’s Phillips’ Phillips International label in 1958 recording as “Bill Pinky and the Turks”.  As such, Bill was inducted for this recording into the Rockabilly Music Hall of Fame.  Sun had pretty much converted from black musicians to white rockabilly singers by 1958 and when Bill stepped into the studio he was the first black singer to do so in some time.  One of the tracks, “After the Hop” was composed by Bill along with Bill Justis – and Justis also played saxophone on the session.

After Bill was fired by Drifters’ manager/owner George Treadwell, he would form a group called “The Flyers” which also included Bobby Hendricks.  Earlier in his career, Bill was in a Gospel group called the “Jerusalem Stars” – a group which included Brook Benton.  Then, in 1958, Pinkney would return to the Drifter’s lineup bring Hendricks with him.  It was a short-lived run – Treadwell once again demonstrating his dictatorial approach to managing – firing the entire Drifter’s lineup.

By the mid 1980’s Pinkney’s “Original Drifters” would include Russell Henry, Charles Fowler and Chuck Cockerham – By the turn of the Century the group would be Pinkney along with Henry and Cockerham – now joined by Knight Dunbar and Roger Whitehead – None of these musicians recorded with the Drifters during the Atlantic Records era.

Clyde McPhatter died on June 13th, 1972 at age 39 from heart disease – Rudy Lewis died on May 20th, 1964 from what many believe was a drug overdose – He was only 27 – Ben E. King died on April 30th, 2015 at age 76 – Johnny Moore died on December 30th, 1998 at age 64.  Bill Pickney passed away on July 4th, 2007 at the age of 81.  He was the last original Drifter.  Bobby Hendricks is alive and living and has continued to perform in various versions of Drifters groups close to the present day.

Johnny Moore Discography

45 – Sue 726 – Why Do You Treat Me This Way b/w Hand In Hand – Released April, 1960

45 – Sue 728 – Jo Ann Delilah b/w Don’t Start Me Talking – Released August, 1960

45 – Sue 733 – That’s Good b/w Hold Hands Break Hearts – Released November, 1960

45 – Sue 741 – Love Is A Nightmare b/w Poor Boy – Released 1961

45 – Sue 738 – Chew Tobacco b/w The Spider Walk – Released January, 1961

45 – Melic 0013 – A Fool’s Paradise b/w Miracle – Released 1963

45 – Weezie 101 – Don’t Start Me Talking b/w Joann Deliah – Released 1989

Rudy Lewis Discography

45 – Red Top 124 – A Rainbow In My Eyes b/w Nobody Knows – Released 1959

45 – Atlantic 45-2193 – Baby I Dig Love b/w I’ve Loved You So Long – Released June, 1963

Bill Pinkney Discography

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45 – Phillips International 3524 – After The Hop b/w Sally’s Got A Sister – Released March, 1958

45 – Fontana 1956 – I Do The Jerk b/w Don’t Call Me – Released December, 1964

45 – Veep 1264 – The Masquerade Is Over b/w I Found Some Lovin’ – (with “The Originals”) Released May, 1967

45 – Game 393 – Can You Forgive (If You Can’t Forget) b/w Ol’ Man River – (with “The O.D.’s”) – Released 1968

45 – Game 394 – Millionaire b/w Ol’ Man River – (with “The Original Drifters”) – released 1969

45 – S&J 800826 – (More Than A Number In My) Little Red Book b/w I Count The Tears – (with “The Original Drifters”) – Released 1980

45 – Christopher 103 – Just Drifting Along b/w I’m The Original – (with “The Original Drifters”) Released 1989

Bobby Hendricks Discography

45 – Sue 706 – Itchy Twitchy Feeling – Charted Number 5 R&B Charts – Number 25 Hot 100 Charts – Released June, 1958

45 – Sue 732 – Psycho – Charted Number 73 Hot 100 Charts – Released September, 1960

45 – Mercury 71881 – I’m Coming Home – Charted Number 103 Bubbling Under Charts – Released September, 1961

45 – MGM 13179 – Let’s Get Over It b/w Love In My Heart – Did Not Chart – Released October, 1963

45 – Williams 001 – She Used To Hold Me b/w Go On Home Girl – Did Not Chart – Released September, 1968

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