* Birth name

Clyde Lensley McPhatter


November 15,1932 

Durham, North Carolina, United States

Died June 13, 1972 [age 39]


R & B, Rock & Roll, Doo Wop

Years active

1945 - 1970  (early days Gospel)


Atlantic, MGM, Mercury, Decca, Amy

Associated acts

Bill Ward & The Dominoes, Mount Lebanon Singers,Drifters  *

* Clyde Lensley McPhatter was raised in a religious Baptist family, his father was a preacher.He formed a gospel group in 1945 after his family moved to New Jersey. They soon relocated to New York City, and McPhatter joined the Mount Lebanon Singers, a popular gospel group.


He joined with another soprano turned tenor Billy Ward and his band The Dominoes. They had a hit in 1951 with "Sixty Minute Man" which was one of the earliest rock and roll records and the first record by a black rock and roll group to cross over to pop. 


After several more hits, McPhatter quit the group in 1953 because he made little money and gained virtually no fame, in spite of his voice being the lead on most of the group's songs. 


Upon hearing about Clyde's departure from The Dominoes, Atlantic's Ahmet Ertegun tracked down McPhatter in Harlem and encouraged him to form a new group. This new group, called The Drifters were signed to Atlantic Records. "Money Honey", "Such a Night", "Honey Love", "White Christmas" and "Whatcha Gonna Do" became huge hits.



 McPhatter was drafted in 1954 but was assigned in the US, allowing him to continue recording. He soon left The Drifters and launched a solo career. His first solo hit occurred after being discharged from the army "Love Has Joined Us Together" with Ruth Brown. 


He released several R&B hits in the next few years but was unable to make a serious dent in the pop charts, largely because white groups covered his best compositions and achieved widespread mainstream success. In spite of this, McPhatter became one of the most popular black musicians among white listeners, even joining Bill Haley on a national tour upon his release from the Army.



McPhatter soon signed to MGM Records, and released several more hits. "I Told Myself a Lie" and "Think Me a Kiss" (1960) became minor pop hits, as was "Ta Ta", his first single for Mercury Records. "I Never Knew" and "Lover Please" (1962) became even bigger pop hits, but his career started suffering due to rampant alcoholism.  


McPhatter's unreliability kept him from maintaining his career in the face of this competition. As the 1960s wore on, McPhatter's career kept falling in spite of a few minor hits. In the 1966, McPhatter spent the next four years living in England, where he still had a significant audience, but this was short-lived due to Clyde's alcohol abuse. 


A 1970 album on Decca Records called Welcome Home, was Clyde's last recording. He died of a heart attack in 1972 at the age of 39. 


Clyde was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. 

The Rockabilly Hall of Fame has recognized his pioneering efforts. 

The Original Drifters were inducted in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

The United States Postal Service issued a stamp in his honor in 1993. 

The song "Money Honey" (1953) was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.


Reference * Wikipedia /worldjournal-gs.blogspot.com/2007/10/great-clyde-mcphatter./Room333


Several of the songs listed here do not have lyrics attached to them. 


I started [but then stopped] to transcribe some of the songs when I 

noticed that on some sites... that had previously had some of these 

lyrics listed  now have "removed" inserted. 


I can only assume it is some copyright issue.


 If any of the lyrics that are here, are in breach of copyright 

then please just let me know and I shall remove them.


Great artists, their songs and lyrics, need to be "kept alive" so future generations can not only experience, part of history

 but the great enjoyment that these artists gave/give to the world. 


Clyde McPhatter is one such artists whose music should be 

experienced by all generations. It is just such a pity that he died

 so young but his music will thankfully live on.



This site does not profit in anyway from displaying the lyrics and low quality music samples but hopes that it provides opportunities  for people to study & to "taste" some of the work  of many different artists,

 covering different genre over many decades. 


Hopefully this will encourage the reader to  purchase 

quality recordings of these artists.


See also 

Billy Ward & The Dominoes

The Drifters


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