Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Drifters (Misinformation)

Much is spoken on the Drifters in various circles relating
to who is or was a Drifter, the music etc. Depending on 
who's telling the story or reporting all the mis-
information, you hear such comments as The current lineup of 
Drifters under the Treadwell PMG management are phonies and 
imposter's. The former Bell / Arista group were know more 
than a Disco outfit. Many of these comments come from so 
called critics in the industry, period fans, former Drifter 
members and I mean former cause if you are not currently 
working under the trademark license you are former. I've 
even read where someone posted on youtube that Charlie 
Thomas has warrants out for the Treadwell impostor group as 
if he is the only legitimate Drifter that has come along 
over the years that has the right to be called a Drifter. 
Give us a break with such nonsense! the Drifters is a brand 
and has been that way since it's offset. With 60 or more 
members Drifting in and out, it truly lives up to it's name 
Drifters. Yes some more significant than others. The brand 
can truly only be categorized through it's golden age 
periods and there are three. The Clyde McPhatter era, The 
Ben E. King era and The Bell / Arista era headed by Johnny 
Moore and The fact is Johnny Moore sang with the group in 
all those eras and on more songs and hits than anyone. After 
the Atlantic era the group was dead so to speak and was 
resurrected in the 70's with the producer and song writer 
Roger Greenway. It was the Greenway team along with the 
signing to Bell Records headed by It's president Dick Leahy 
which helped bring the group back in to vogue during the 
70's with a string of hits throughout that period. So it was 
the Johnny Moore group of the 70's along with Bill 
Fredricks, Grant Kitchings and yours truly Butch Leake that 
brought the brand from the grave in the early 70's era.
That is a fact which you can try and deny but the data is 
there to prove it. Though the Atlantic period of songs were 
great and I will be the first to acknowledge they were some 
of my favorites. The Bell Record era had it's songs which 
were conducive for it's time.

Above some negative YouTube post...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

World Appeal / Debra

Published on May 8, 2014
Highlighting the latest crisis with the abduction of 300 hundred young girls in Nigeria.
Music Audio Network "Tin Soldier"

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Anthology The Drifters Legends / The Men Of The Brand

Coming soon! A unique glimpse into a brand that has had a span of more than 60 years and written by one of over 60 members that have come through it ranks. The Drifters as  everyone knows is one of the most unusual stories in the history of musical entertainment. Much has been written on the brand over the years but never from one of it's performing members. The book is compiled with many photos, stats, and facts related to the brand spanning through it's 3 golden era's. the Idea here is to create a historical repository that all can refer to for definitive information.


Friday, April 4, 2014

The Drifters/Brand Revisited

There has been much fanfare around the subject of the Drifters brand in recent years since the days of management by the original owners or one might say the early Treadwell  management style. For one the concept of brand can be confusing to many out there to include those who for the most part were part of the exploitation that was rooted at the core of the organizational style. At the end only division has surfaced among it's ranks which you can see with the proliferation of the many spin off groups over the years. This also brings into question what is distinctly a brand and what are the different components of what makes up a brand. Now in reality The Drifters as a name didn't begin with the Atlantic group of Drifters that you know of in history. It was a name that surfaced among a number of other musical outfits during the early fifties. Particularly that of country and western bands of that era both in the United States and abroad in such places as England UK and Ireland. Names that surface are the Carolina Drifters, the Evergreen Drifters, the Texas Drifters, the Ozark Drifters, Johnny Whitlock and the Drifters, the Dixieland Drifters, and the Dixie Drifters (there were probably many more in this list). There were also Joe Dolan and the Drifters (from Ireland) and Cliff Richard and the Drifters (from England).                                         Then there was Jimmy Williams and the Drifters, a 1954 white group from Michigan. Another offering was Jeril Deane and the Drifters (a white Pop trio) on Vita, from mid-1953. Most of these were pre-Atlantic Drifters. According to Marv Goldberg in his commentary on pre- Atlantic Drifters there were legitimate groups which appeared on London (1949-50), Coral (1950), Excelsior (1951), Class (1953), and Crown records (1954). After the Atlantic Drifters had their No#1 hit. A group of Drifters surfaced on Crown Records a subsidiary of Modern who were in fact the group called the robins during this period obviously looking to capitalize on the name. Today there are country group such as the Dirt Drifters, The Southern Drifters, Midnight Drifters and the Neon Drifter bands. Then there are the Tribute Drifter groups spread across both the US and Europe. The history of rhythm and blues is filled with vocal groups whose names ... no one at Atlantic liked "the Drifters" at first, thinking it sounded too country & western ... Now the word brand derives from the the old Norse "brandr" meaning to burn recalling the old custom of producers burning their mark (or brand) onto their products. According to Wiki Pedia (Although connected with the history of trademarks and including earlier examples which could be deemed "protobrands" (such as the marketing puns of the "Vesuvinum" wine jars found at Pompeii), brands in the field of mass-marketing originated in the 19th century with the advent of packaged goods. Industrialization moved the production of many household items, such as soap, from local communities to centralized factories. When shipping their items, the factories would literally brand their logo or insignia on the barrels used, extending the meaning of "brand" to that of a trademark). So as you can see The Drifters as a name has travelled in many direction since it's conception. Yet it takes more than a name to distinguish one brand or trademark from the next. The Atlantic group of Drifters in it's beginning was much rooted in R & B and gospel but managed to cross over to popular music styles in later years. Yet for the most part it has always been an American brand but today has lost much of it's American identity as far as the core or legitimate group. Drifter songs have become distinguishable depending on the era that one is familiar with. We are left with the question has the true brand lost it's way.


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