“WHITE CHRISTMAS” was a huge hit for Bing Crosby, that everyone knows, but there is another version of this Christmas classic that has remained popular since it became a hit in 1954. That version is the R&B cover of “White Christmas” by the fabulous Drifters. Their classic R&B version shown the talents of lead singer Clyde McPhatter and the bass singing of the great Bill Pinkney.
The Drifters version charted on December 18, 1954 and climbed to #2 on the Billboard R&B chart. The charted again in 1955 at #5 R&B and crossed over to the Billboard Top 100, where they charted at #80. In 1956 The Drifters again were on the R&B chart, this time at #12. “White Christmas” became the first Drifters song to chart on the Billboard pop chart. The group would place 40 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and 37 hits on the Billboard R&B chart.
For many years The Drifters version of this Christmas classic was heard primarily on R&B radio stations. mainstream pop stations basically stayed away from it in favor of the Bing Crosby version. The Drifters song got a boost when it was featured in the film “Home Alone”. It can now be heard on your favorite oldies stations and is a Christmas classic as is the original. The Drifters, in many different line-ups, were one of the greatest R&B and pop groups to ever record a song. They are one of the greatest groups from the “Golden Era of Rock and Roll”
Till the next time—Joe