Uploaded on May 26, 2009
McPhatter was raised in a religious Baptist family, and formed a gospel group in 1945 after his family moved to New Jersey. He joined the Mount Lebanon Singers, a popular gospel group. In 1950, McPhatter joined Billy Ward & the Dominoes and was present for the recording of "Sixty Minute Man" for Federal Records and produced by Ralph Bass, which was a huge hit in 1951, and was one of the earliest rock and roll records. After that signed to Atlantic Records after forming a group, The Drifters. "Money Honey", "Such a Night", "Honey Love", "White Christmas" and "Whatcha Gonna Do" became huge hits.
In 1954, McPhatter was drafted but was assigned in the U.S., allowing him to continue recording. He soon left The Drifters and launched a solo career. His first solo hit occurred just after being discharged - "Love Has Joined Us Together" (with Ruth Brown). He released several R&B hits in the next few years, but made only one serious dent in the pop charts, with the Brook Benton-penned song "A Lover's Question", which made it to #6 in 1958. Later that year, the song "Lover Please" became a hit. White groups usually covered his best compositions and achieved more widespread mainstream success. In spite of this, McPhatter became one of the most popular black musicians among white listeners. His 1956 recording "Treasure of Love" saw him enjoy his first solo #1 on the R&B charts and one week in the UK singles chart. It reached #16 on the U.S. Pop charts, finally breaking him in the mianstream market. The lack of any subsequent entry in the UK gave him the unenviable tag there of being a one hit wonder. Several more hits. "I Told Myself a Lie" and "Think Me a Kiss" (1960) became minor pop hits, as was "Ta Ta", his first single for Mercury Records. "I Never Knew" and "Lover Please", which made it to #7 in 1962, became even bigger pop hits, but his career started suffering due to his alcoholism.
McPhatter's unreliability kept him from maintaining his career in the face of this competition. As the 1960s wore on, McPhatter's career kept falling in spite of a few minor hits.
In the late 1960s, McPhatter spent some time living in England. Backed by UK band "ICE", he played to enthusiastic audiences of US service personnel based there, but found little wider support for his act. Back again in America, Clyde McPhatter died of complications of heart, liver, and kidney disease, and was buried at George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey
R.I.P. Thx 4 ur great music bro.
In 1987 was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rockabilly Hall of Fame recognized his pioneering efforts.
The Original Drifters were inducted in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.
The United States Postal Service issued a stamp in his honor in 1993.
The song "Money Honey" (1953) was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
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