WERE NO BLACK PEOPLE IN THE STUDIO'
- The Drifters at Bell Records
Atlantic went a different route, with
The Young Rascals and Aretha Franklin and people like that. We
still being the top pop artists, they bypassed us, went to a more
soulful thing. They more or less dropped us, I guess. I feel kinda
bad about that, because I got a special feeling for Atlantic,
you know, cos they were the formative years: I did my first recording
for them in 1955. But Bell came along just in the nick of time
to save our careers.
I think Roger [Greenaway] was a Drifters fan. He wrote things
for us, and he was spot on. It was a hands-on thing. They were
like sequels to the songs we did back in the 60s. I think he thought
we'll go back and re-do Drifters titles with a different beat,
whatever, let's keep it The Drifters thing.
Roger was the man who was close to us. Sometimes we'd be on the
road touring, and Roger would make a tape, send it to the hotel
where we were staying. I would learn the lead, he would drive
me down to the studio, record it and go back to the venue. All
in one day. No more than three, four takes.
I did all those Drifters records and never saw them.
I remember that the things I did with The Drifters - which I later
recognized because they became big hits - it was just Roger Greenaway
in the studio. I know there weren't any Drifters there, because
there were no black people in the studio.
I was a Drifter. Roger Greenaway only
used to let Johnny Moore sing on the records - the others took
too long in the studio, so I used to sing on them.
I know some of those sessions from The Drifters ended up being
Guys like Cook and Greenaway wrote about a million songs a week.
They'd say, 'Oh it's a song for The Drifters,' and they might
cut the track and think, 'It's a bit bloody good for The Drifters,
maybe it'll do for ...' You could often do a song which you thought
was for somebody and it'd turn up being recorded by somebody else.
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