In rebuttal to your recent screening on the View of Drifters
Legend Charlie Thomas aired on 7/27/2015. It has been claimed that Mr. Thomas distinctly holds the title as the only original Drifter alive today and subsequently all who may have legitimate claim to some form of the history are phonies. The fact is not taken away from Mr. Thomas credential as one of the Legends of The Drifters It is impossible for him being the only original member as all of the originals have passed on.
The last being Bill Pinkney who passed away July 4, 2007). Charlie Thomas does hold the distinction of being the last of the original Crowns group who were brought in to replace the original Drifters at the Apollo theater in 1958 when then owner and manager of the Drifters George Treadwell fired the group and replace them with the Crowns. They then became the classic group of the 60s. This has been declared one of the principal golden ages of the Drifters. Yet in reality there were three golden ages of Drifters and Drifter songs. Starting with Clyde McPhatter back in 1953, Ben E. king who also was a member of the Crowns along with Mr. Thomas who some called this period Ben E. King and The Drifters 1958-64. Though Mr. King for the most part did not perform with the group on tour. His voice was used for many of the classic Drifter songs of the period along with Rudy Lewis and Johnny Moore. Another recording member who sang with Mr. Thomas and was brought in to replace Rudy Lewis in 1966 by then manager George Treadwell is Rick Sheppard and is alive and performing in his own review.Rick currently holds a Canadian trademark for the Drifters name.Then there is the third golden age of Drifters and Drifter songs after the Atlantic record period now the Bell Arista Record period who managed to produce 13 Billboard hits from 1972 till the late 80s headed by Johnny Moore, Butch Leake Bill Fredricks Grant Kitchings, Joe Blunt and Clyde Brown. Three lineup members are still alive from this period. The fact is the Drifters have had more than 60 members who have come through its lineup since 1953. The claim to an original member can only be designated to the period that a member served in the three golden song periods. Yes all the members mentioned are recording members of the Legendary brand.The trademark to the Drifters brand is still owned by theTreadwell family and licensed worldwide by PMG Music UK.For historical references on the Drifters log into
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