Artist Spotlight: Clyde McPhatter
A well known tenor of the 1950’s and early 60’s, Clyde McPhatter was known for R&B and doo-wop hits such as “Money Honey” and “A Lover’s Question.”
With success as the lead singer of his vocal group the Drifters, and in his own solo career, McPhatter was the first artist to be inducted twice into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Born in North Carolina and raised singing gospel, McPhatter joined the music scene at 18 in late 1950 as a part of Billy Ward’s R&B vocal group, the Dominoes. The Dominoes, later known for launching the singing career of McPhatter, held dozens of top R&B hits in the early 50’s featuring McPhatter’s gospel charged vocals.
In 1953 McPhatter left the Dominoes to pursue leading his own vocal group, the Drifters. While Clyde McPhatter lead the Drifters, the group produced hits such as “Money Honey” and “Such a Night” that catapulted them to fame. In 1954, McPhatter was drafted into the army but posted in the U.S, and able to keep recording with the Drifters for some time.
Following his military discharge in 1955, McPhatter began his solo career. Short, but ultimately successful, McPhatter released hits like “A Lover’s Question” and proved an influential singer to the young artists at the time.
McPhatter died in 1972 at 39, due to health conditions caused by a long term alcohol problem that has also been credited to the decline of his solo career.
“A Lover’s Question” by Clyde McPhatter
“Money Honey” by Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters