1964 Drifters – Saturday Night At The Movies
The British Invasion began in earnest in the mid-sixties and may well have spelled the end of the Drifters. The group had top ten hits almost every year beginning in 1959, including Under The Boardwalk in early 1964.
Hits became more of a challenge for them after that. Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote Saturday Night At The Movies and the Drifters released their version of the song later in 1964.
The Single peaked at #18 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the R&B chart. That became the last time the Drifters reached the top forty in the US.
A different but familiar duo wrote the band’s next single, At The Club: Carole King and Gerry Goffin. The record peaked at only #43 on the Hot 100 but still managed to reach #10 on the R&B chart.
An unusual return to the charts came in 1972. A double-sided single of Saturday Night At The Movies and At The Club reached #3 on the UK charts that year.
The Drifters then relocated to England and released a few new albums between 1973 and 1976. Lineup changes became commonplace and at times, multiple groups even appeared using the band’s name.
Charlie Thomas became a member of the Drifters in 1958. He sang lead vocals on Sweets For My Sweet and When My Little Girl Is Smiling in 1961 and 1962 and leads the current version of the Drifters.
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