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Doc Green Jr 3/1989

Dock Green JrMarch 10, 1989 – Doc Green Jr (The Drifters) was born on November 8th 1934. Green began singing on Harlem street corners as a youngster and joined the Drifters sometime after it was formed in the mid-1950s. Until then he was a member of The Five Crowns but joined when in 1958 manager George Treadwell, who owned the rights to the name “Drifters”, but had sacked the whole band, approached Lover Patterson, the manager of The Five Crowns featuring lead singer Ben E. King, wanting his band to adopt the appellation of The Drifters.

The singers, whose hits were to include “There Goes My Baby,” “Sweets for My Sweet,” “Under the Boardwalk,” and “Up on the Roof,” initially called themselves Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters during the late 1950s. The name was later shortened to the Drifters. According to the anthology “Who’s Who in Rock,” the name was used because so many of the members “drifted” back and forth to other groups.

So the new line-up of The Drifters consisted of Doc as baritone, Ben E King (lead tenor), Charlie Thomas (tenor), and Elsbeary Hobbs (bass). The group went out on the road to tour for almost a year. Since this new group had no connection to the prior Drifters, they often played to hostile audiences. This new Drifter lineup, widely considered the “true” golden age of the group, released several singles with King on lead that became chart hits.

“There Goes My Baby”, the first commercial rock-and-roll recording to include a string orchestra, was a Top 10 hit, and number 193 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. “Dance with Me” followed, and then “This Magic Moment” No.16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. “Save the Last Dance for Me” reached No.1 on the U.S. pop charts and No.2 in the UK. This was followed by “I Count The Tears.”

This version of The Drifters was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000 as Ben E. King and the Drifters.



The original group broke up in the late 1960s, although a variety of acts continued to use the name.

His family said Green continued working as a singer with other groups, including, most recently, Vito and the Salutations.

He died after his battle with cancer on March 10, 1989 at age 54.

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