The Drifters “Take People Back” at the Paramount

By Journalist Ms. Jones

PEEKSKILL – “They are taking me back!” rang through the audience at the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater in Peekskill on Friday, Sept. 8. as the Drifters sang their classic hits. The Drifters are a Doo Wop Pop R&B band formed in 1953.

“It’s the songs that they’re singing and the lyrics… ‘Up on the Roof’ and ‘This Magic Moment’ brought back some memories with different friends of mine… I like having fun and I’m sixty plus, but I don’t feel it. So, when I hear music, music moves me. Music makes you happy. It makes you wanna move. It takes you to a different place,” said audience member Donna Brown.

The songs even brought some people back to a different administration.

“Hearing these songs… It’s not 2017… It’s back in the day when things were happening and there was so much hope and promise and everybody had great expectations… and these songs just take you back to that period of time when we even had ‘Camelot’… JFK… That was the era,” said Colette Carpenter.

The legendary vocal group sang their 1961 tune “Stand by Me.” By the end of the song, everyone was singing along and standing. The audience crooned and clapped their hands to “Under the Boardwalk.” The lead singer came off the stage and danced with several women from the audience individually during “Dance with Me.” Concert goers were invited to come dance on the stage on several songs. Couples even danced in the aisles on “Save the Last Dance for Me.”

The Drifters used their voices as instruments.

“The night that the Drifters were in the recording studio recording this record, they realized that the bass guitar player didn’t show up. So, at that time, they turned around wondering what to do… a gentleman by the name of Mr. Elsbeary Hobbs stepped up and said, ‘Listen, let’s not worry about the bass guitar. I’ll use my voice to replace that.’ That song went straight to the top. So right now, we’re going to do that song. We’re gonna ask Mr. Smokey Noble to do the intro,” said the Drifters as they sang “There Goes my Baby.”

After the concert, the Drifters signed autographs and took photographs with fans.

“We’ve been quite busy… We’re still doing it, not as fast, but we’re still doing it. The music of today is another trend… We sang songs that people can sing to and we can have a good time… Everybody’s on one accord and that’s what this music is all about,” said Smokey Noble of the Drifters.

Don’t recognize any of the Drifters in the photos? That’s because there have been over 60 Drifters since the group was formed. According to Rolling Stone magazine, “The Drifters were the least stable of the great vocal groups, as they were low-paid musicians.” George Treadwell owned the Drifters name and hired vocalists.

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