Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bill Pinkney, R. I. P.

Another one of the greats is gone. Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link.

iWon News - Last of the Original Drifters Dies at 81: "DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Bill Pinkney, the last survivor of the original members of the musical group The Drifters, died Wednesday. He was 81.

Pinkney was found dead at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, Daytona Beach Police spokesman Jimmie Flynt said. The death was not considered suspicious, he said.

Pinkney was scheduled to perform for Fourth of July festivities there.

Pinkney's manager, Maxine Porter, declined to discuss his cause of death, but said Pinkney had had health problems.

The Drifters, whose hits include 'Under the Boardwalk,''Up on the Roof,' and 'Save the Last Dance For Me,' still performed Wednesday night. An announcement about Pinkney's death was made after the show, said the group's publicist, Donnie Lowery."


Anonymous said...

Awww, fooey, very sorry to hear that. Quite a few years back about 20 or so of us bought tickets over in Paducah to see the Drifters and the Platters, and he was there as the last surviving member. We made total fools of ourselves, dancing in the aisles and singing along. Sigh. Lovely memory.

Kent Morgan said...

Not long after I read this story on your blog, I picked up the UK crime novel titled Mean Streets by Ron Ellis that I am reading. His main character is Liverpool DJ and PI Johnny Ace. Ace is preparing to contact an entertainment agent who he says is as big as any agent oustide London. Here's how he describes the agent.

After his success with dubious dealing in the Sixties, Warner found a new scam for the next decade and by the end of the Seventies, he'd doubled his fortune. Fans would pay to see The Incomparable Drifters, only to find they bore no resemblance to The Drifters, who had all the hit records or, indeed, to The Original Drifters, who were playing for Warner on the same night in several towns, often on the same bill as The Original Temptations and The Fabulous Platters.

"I created more jobs for young out-of-work blacks than the Labour Government," Warner used to boast. "And some of them could sing, too."

While here in Winnipeg we didn't get a version of The Drifters too often, but I'm convinced that every version of The Platters showed up and the personnel was never the same.

By the way, if you have never read Ellis, he's worth a try. Mean Streets is second in the series following Ears of the City. Pleny of both US and UK music references to go with plots often connected to the industry. I was able to find the latest two in Murder One in London the same day I found Jesse Sublett's autobiography.

Unknown said...

Thanks for that, Kent. I've seen only one version of The Platters, but I have a tape by a group that should never have been allowed to use the name. I like the DJs name, Johnny Ace. Another of the greats.