Wednesday, 23 September 2015
A Few Thoughts on Clyde McPhatter
"A few thoughts" is right in this instance, as this is by way of a note about a forthcoming post which is likely to be sketchy. Influential as he was, there is no mammoth biography of McPhatter to draw on, and he isn't someone to whom I've been listening for years. But I recently bought a slim volume by Colin Escott billed as "a biographical essay" about the singer, and it occured to me that I really ought to write something about him, given that he features in the story of Ben E King, is lauded by Bill Millar in his book on the Drifters, and is a prominent figure in Street Corner Soul, the excellent BBC Radio 2 documentary series about the rise and fall of doo wop.
But as I haven't listened to him steadily, as it were, over the years, tonight I have tasked myself rectify this. I shall be heading homewards with the sounds of the Dominoes, the McPhatter-era Drifters, and a compilation of his solo Atlantic recordings ringing in my ears. I shall report back on the results of my experiment tomorrow.
Some years ago I did buy a Charly compilation of solo McPhatter (so presumably Atlantic) but didn't listen to it more than once or twice: didn't like the pop-style backing. Will I still feel the same? Only time can tell.