The Drifters. The Best White Christmas


When composer Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas" in 1941, he insisted that the superstar of the day, kiosk Bing Crosby, be the first to record it. Crosby & # 39; s version, recorded for Decca on May 29, 1942, became the best-selling record of all time. But is it the best version of the song you would like to take home on vacation?

The facts about how and where Berlin wrote the song are grim, so he may have written it in one of his homes in New York or Beverly Hills. One account consists of a song composed by the beach at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona.

Although written in 1940, the song appeared in the 1942 film for the first time. Holiday Inn: . As the troops left home in the shadow of World War II, the song of the Christmas wish became more thrilling … and ensured its success.

More than a hundred versions of White Christmas have been recorded, from country (Jet Atkins) to gospel (Mahalia acks xson) to rock (Elvis Presley) to modern R&B (Babyface). Even Twisted Sister recorded the song. But for many, Drifters & # 39; The 1954 version remains the gold standard.

In the early 1950s, Drifters was a band that had a hit with rhythm and blues charts such as Money Honey and Honey Love. Built around high tenor Clyde McPater, who had just left Bill Ward and the Dominions, the group included Bill Pinkney, brothers Andrew and Gerhart Thrasher and Will Ferby.

McPhatter was a revolutionary, combining his gospel style with R&B era to create a soul music template. But McPhatter, who sang the falsetto, shared the key vocal duties on "White Christmas" with bassist Bill Pinney, which resulted in a unique and memorable sound. But there would be years when the song would even be heard by most of America … white America.

In the early 1950s, racism prevented black bands like Drifters from receiving radio broadcasts on white audiences. When "White Christmas" was released, it reached number 2 Billboard The R&B chart, but only in pop charts, made 80. The song was rarely played until the 1990s Home alone , a combination of lips by a young Macauley Culkin who combs the brush as he turns to his father after shaving.

Song & # 39; look at that hit movie (and later: Santa Claus ) made by Drifters & # 39; version of rock, pop and country stations every Christmas season. It even became a popular internet cartoon by animator osh vshuwa Held. Amazingly, the song & # 39; release heralds the end of Chapter 1 of Drifters & # 39; history:

Clyde McPhatter was drafted into the Army shortly after the song's release, and due to his success, Atlantic Records decided to do a McPhatter solo concert. McPhatter was followed by two big hits: "A Lover & # 39; s question "and" Lover Please ", but his success was soon taken away by his inspired spiritual singers. McPather died in 1972.

What happened to Bill Pinkney and the other Drifters is part of rock history. In 1958, Drifters & # 39; Manager George Lamb Tadwell fired the entire band at the Apollo Theater, replacing them with Crown members one night. These "new" drummers – Ben E King, Charlie Thomas, Doc Green and Elsbeyr Hobbes – and their successors continued to become one of the most popular singing bands in history, recording "Here's My Baby" pictorial hits. "The Last Dance for Me", "Under the Expedition" and "From the Roof".

The last drummer, Bill Pinkney, continued to record and perform with his band until his death in 2007.