Clyde McPhatter (Durham, North Carolina15 november 1932 – Teaneck (New Jersey)13 June 1972) was an American doo wopand rhythm and bluessinger. He was one of the first who combined with r & b and gospel was thus a precursor of the soul music.


McPhatter was a boy soprano and after his family from North Carolina had moved to New York City, a gospel group, The Mount Lebanon Singers, formed around him.Later he retained his tenor voice. In 1950 he won an "amateur night" at the Apollo Theater in New York. Billy Ward thereupon asked him to come sing in his R & B group BIlly Ward and His Dominoes. McPhatter was the lead singer on the first hit of the group, "Do Something For Me", which in 1951 to number six climbed into the R & BBillboard list. However, not always the tensions between Ward and McPhatter, who found that he had not got the recognition he deserved. He left the group in 1953.Jackie Wilson, whose singing style was influenced strongly by McPhatter, succeeded him at the Dominoes.

McPhatter got a recording contract with Atlantic Records by Ahmet Ertegün, who asked him to form a new group. That group was The Drifters. The first Drifters were old acquaintances of The Mount Lebanon Singers. They recorded four songs on during a session on 29 June 1953, but Atlantic boss Ertegün saw no bread in the combination and asked to form another group McPhatter. The new group members came from another gospel group, The Civitones. Under the name Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters they had in the autumn of 1953 a first hit, "Money Honey" (the b-side was another number that had included the original Drifters). In 1954 and 1955, there were successes such as "Such A Night", "Honey Love", "Bip Bam", "White Christmas" and "What'cha Gonna Do".

This was McPhatters's last recording with the group, because he was doing his military service. He went on as a solo artist. His first recording without the Drifters were "Love Has Joined Us Together", a duet with Ruth Brown (1955), and "Seven Days" (1956). That were followed by several R & B hits, including "Treasure of Love" (1956), "Long Lonely Nights" (1957) and "A lover's Question" (1958) reached the top of the Billboard R & B-list. "A lover's Question" was also a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100(number 6).

After his time at Atlantic Records, he moved to MGM Records and then to Mercury Records. His last top 10 hit was "Lover Please" from 1962, a song written by Billy Swan.After his downfall. In 1968 he moved to England, where he still had success with his performances in clubs. In the early 1970s he returned to the United States. At Decca Records he released the lp "Welcome Home" from which, however, not the hoped-for success. The disillusioned McPhatter was hit heavily by now to the drink and on 13 June 1972 became a fatal heart attack him.

In 1987, Clyde McPhatter inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Singles discography (as solo artist)[Edit]Edit

Title Highest Billboard-listing Pop Highest Billboard-listing R & B Year Tag
Love Has Joined Us Together/I Gotta Have You (with Ruth Brown) - 8 1955 Atlantic
Seven Days 44 2 1956
Treasure of Love 16 1
Without Love (There Is Nothing)/I make Believe 19 4 1957
Just to Hold My Hand 26 6
Thirty Days - -
Long Lonely Nights 49 1
Rock and Cry 93 -
Come What May 43 3 1958
Lover Please 32 4
A lover's Question 6 1
Lovey Dovey 49 12 1959 Atlantic
I Told Myself a Lie 70 MGM
Since you've Been Gone 39 14 Atlantic
Twice As Nice 91 MGM
You Went Back on Your Word 72 13 Atlantic
Let's Try Again 48 13 MGM
Just Give Me a Ring 96 1960 Atlantic
Deep Sea Ball/Let the Boogie-Woogie Roll - -
Think Me a Kiss 66 MGM
Ta Ta (Just Like a Baby) 23 7 Mercury
This Is Not Goodbye/One Right After Another - - MGM
Tomorrow Is a-Comin 103 - 1961 Mercury
I'll Love You Til the Cows Come Home 110 -
A Whole Heap of Love - -
I Never Knew 56 17
Same Time Same Place - -
Lover Please 7 - 1962
Little Bitty Pretty One 25 -
Maybe/I Do Believe - -
The Best Man Cried 118 -
From One To One 127 - 1963
Deep In the Heart of Harlem 90 90
Second Window, Second Floor - - 1964
Baby Baby/Lucille - -
Crying Won't Help You Now 117 22 1965
A Shot of Rhythm and Blues/I'm Not Going to Work Today - - 1966 Amy
Sweet and Innocent/Lavender Lace - - 1967
Baby You Got It - - 1968 Deram
I'll Belong to You/Book of Memories - - 1970 Decca
Why Can't We Get Together/Mixed Up Cup - -

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