Happy Anniversary: The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby”
55 years ago today, Atlantic Records released the first single by the second incarnation of the Drifters – formed after the group’s manager, George Treadwell, who owned the rights to the name fired all of the original members – and, in doing so, transformed them from R&B superstars into kings of the pop charts.
Written by Treadwell, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Lover Patterson, and Ben E. King, who sang lead, “There Goes My Baby” was produced by Leiber and Stoller, with the latter also playing piano on the track. (You can also hear the legendary King Curtis contributing saxophone.) The song hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, topped the R&B chart, and established the Drifters as a force to be reckoned with. The song continued to resonate with audiences well beyond their recording, however, with Donna Summer taking it to #21 in 1984, not to mention its inclusion in the musical revue Smokey Joe’s Café.
Why not give “There Goes My Baby” another listen? In fact, why not give all of the Drifters’ greatest hits a listen? When it comes to classic R&B tunes, they’re pretty hard to beat.