The Drifters

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Billy Joel
  • Category:


Mellow yet savvy, the Drifters painted vivid New York scenes with their syrupy-sweet voices.

The Drifters took the ardent fervor of their gospel days and channeled it into soulful R&B arrangements about typical lives, elevating the everyday to a state of sanctity.

Hall of Fame Essay


Michael Hill

The story of the Drifters is more than the story of a single group’s  success. 

It’s also the story of the great rhythm and blues singers who claimed membership in the group at various times, of the equally great songwriters who created classic songs for the group and of the pioneering record executives who helped bring the Drifters’ music to the attention of the world. 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 1988
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The Drifters Performing Onstage
go up on the roof and look at the stars.
Billy Joel

Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage