Save The Last Dance For Me ~ The Drifters

The Drifters are a long-lived African-American doo wop/R&B vocal group with a peak in popularity from 1953 to 1962, though several splinter Drifters continue to perform today. They were originally formed by Clyde McPhatter (of Billy Ward & the Dominoes) in 1953. Rolling Stone magazine states that The Drifters were the least stable of the vocal groups due to being low-paid hired musicians of The Drifters’ management.

The Treadwell Drifters website states that there have been 60 vocalists in the history of the Treadwell Drifters line. Several splinter groups by former Drifters members add to the count. Nevertheless, there are two iterations of The Drifters which are notable. The first classic Drifters formed by Clyde McPhatter was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as The Drifters or The Original Drifters. The second Drifters formed by Treadwell featuring Ben E. King was separately inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as Ben E. King and The Drifters.[4] In their induction, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame eclectically selected four members from the classic Drifters, two from the second Drifters, and one from the post-King Treadwell Drifters. According to the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, “Through turmoil and changes the (original) Drifters managed to set musical trends and give the public 13 chart hits, most of which are legendary recordings today.”

Save The Last Dance For Me

Save the Last Dance for Me” is the title of a popular song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, first recorded in 1960 by Ben E. King with The Drifters.

The Drifters’ version of the song spent three non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the U.S. pop chart, in addition to logging one week atop the U.S. R&B chart. In the UK, the Drifters’ recording reached #2 in December 1960. This single was produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two noted American music producers who at the time had an apprentice relationship with a then-unknown Phil Spector. Although he was working with Lieber and Stoller at the time, it is unknown whether Spector assisted with the production of this record; however, many Spector fans have noticed similarities between this record and other music he would eventually produce on his own.

In the song, the narrator tells his lover she is free to mingle and socialize throughout the evening, but to make sure to save him the dance at the end of the night. The song is likely based on the personal experience of songwriter Pomus, who had polio and used crutches to get around.His wife, however, was a Broadway actress and dancer. The song gives his perspective of telling his wife to have fun dancing, but reminds her who will be taking her home and “in whose arms you’re gonna be.” The personnel for the Drifters’ recording were: Bucky Pizzarelli, Allen Hanlon (guitar), Lloyd Trotman (bass), Gary Chester (drums).

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/the-drifters-save-the-last-dance-for-me.mp4[/flv]

You can dance every dance with the guy
Who gives you the eye, let him hold you tight
You can smile every smile for the man
Who held your hand ‘neath the pale moonlight

But don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arms you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me, mmm

Oh, I know that the music’s fine
Like sparkling wine go and have your fun
Laugh and sing but while we’re apart
Don’t give your heart to anyone

But don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arms you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me, mmm

Baby, don’t you know I love you so?
Can’t you feel it when we touch?
I will never, never let you go
I love you, oh, so much

You can dance, go and carry on
Till the night is gone and it’s time to go
If he asks, if you’re all alone
Can he take you home, you must tell him, no

‘Cause don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arm’s you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me

‘Cause don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arm’s you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me, mmm

Save the last dance for me, mmm, mmm
Save the last dance for me, mmm
Save the last dance for me

  • Audio from the 1962 album, Save The Last Dance For Me:
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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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