Hans 2021 Song Draft: Round One-Pick Three-There Goes My Baby-Drifters (1959)
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round One pick. I will be posting these per decade.
Having grown up on the East Coast/Mid-Atlantic, one thing my state is known for is shagging (for the Brits, no, that is not what it means). While my grandparents did the Jitterbug as youths, my parents shagged (a descendant of the Jitterbug), as did my classmates and I. This song, in particular, was my favorite to shag to, though I enjoyed many beach music songs. ~Vic
Released either in May (per Rolling Stone Magazine) or April 24, 1959 (per Wikipedia), it was written by Benjamin Nelson (Ben E. King), Lover Patterson and George Treadwell. Produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the song hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B chart (July) and, #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 (August).
This is the second version of The Drifters under Treadwell’s management, crafted from the Five Crowns: Ben E. King, Charlie Thomas, Doc Green and Elsbeary Hobbs with James “Poppa” Clark being rejected for alcohol issues. With this line-up, There Goes My Baby was their first single and King’s debut as lead singer. It was unusual for its time, being the first commercial R&B/Soul recording with strings, arranged by Stan Applebaum, and a Brazilian Baiãon groove. Phil Spector studied the production style under Leiber & Stoller.
The song is ranked at #196 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Donna Summer did a version that was released in July 1984 and peaked at #21 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Ben E. King and The Drifters (The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation/Inducted 2000)
John Gilliland’s Pop Chronicles (The Drifters & Ritchie Valens/Track 2/University of North Texas Digital Library)
There Goes My Baby (The Art of Rock Music Listening Guide/University of Albany/PDF)
Things You Didn’t Know About The Drifters (Pop, Rock & Doo Wopp/Joe Mirrione/April 10, 2020)
12 thoughts on “Hans 2021 Song Draft: Round One-Pick Three-There Goes My Baby-Drifters (1959)”
July 7, 2021 at 5:20 PM
I do like that song.
July 7, 2021 at 5:30 PM
It’s a grand one!
Good to hear from you, Gary.
July 7, 2021 at 9:06 PM
Love that song!
July 8, 2021 at 3:35 PM
It is a good one.
July 8, 2021 at 12:00 PM
I did wonder, back there, if you were taking your cue from Sooty 😂 If you ever visit the UK it may be best to keep that to yourself 😉 Seriously, though a very interesting post. I’ve always thought there was something quite magical about the music and the fashion of the 50’s 😀😀
July 9, 2021 at 2:41 PM
Yeah. 😆 That’s why I had the disclaimer in parenthesis.
I wish I could visit the UK. That is not likely any time soon.
It was a grand time for music. We had finally emerged from the horror of WWII, though the nuclear scare was ever present. Bomb shelters built in backyards and in basements largely still exist, if for nothing more than nostalgia. People were fascinated with going out into space and, in particular to 1959 (when this song was released), it was the year of the debut of The Twilight Zone.
I think the 50s, and the time prior to JFK’s assassination, was the last time America had any innocence left (for the most part). We’ve been in a progressively darker & darker situation since then.
July 9, 2021 at 8:21 AM
Have you ever heard this version:
It’s from a video game soundtrack, of all things, but somehow it was the version I heard first. Nowadays I prefer the Drifters because, well, how couldn’t you…?
July 9, 2021 at 2:51 PM
Oy. I just went down a rabbit hole, reading up on Stubbs the Zombie. Have mercy! 😆
It is an interesting take. The Walkmen, judging by the Wiki write-up, like to use old instruments. You can clearly hear the upright piano in the song. The singer…I’m left wondering if he sings like that in all of their songs or if he just sounded like that for this particular piece. I found myself laughing at his “Ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo…” at the very end, sounding like a chimp.
Yeah, Drifters rule on this one, Donna Summer notwithstanding.
Thanks for the intro.
July 10, 2021 at 12:49 AM
I have never played it – I’m not much of a gamer at all – but the soundtrack caught my eye in a 2nd hand shop years ago, and I still play it. There are really cool fifties covers on it: Mr Sandman, Earth Angel, Lonesome Town…
July 10, 2021 at 2:41 AM
Yeah. I’m not much of a gamer, either. When I was a young teen (early 80s), I did enjoy pinball machines, a sit-down driving game called Night Driver, another sit-down covered game call Tail Gunner, Defender & Defender: Stargate, Frogger and some other crazy driving game that had little bitty digital cars…when arcades still existed. As an adult, I did spend 3 hours playing Banjo Kazooie, once, in the middle 90s and…I spent about 10 minutes playing Angry Birds on my step-sister’s cellphone about six years ago (I think?). Too much work for too little reward. I’d like to have my 3 hours and ten minutes back.
I will have to hear some more from that soundtrack. Each track appears to be on YouTube.
July 17, 2021 at 11:46 AM
I love these guys and most of the 50s vocal groups…something special about that time.
July 17, 2021 at 3:41 PM