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KVC-Arts 2/26/23 - Charlie Thomas of The Drifters

One night at The Apollo in 1958, George Treadwell fired the entire lineup of The Drifters. He then hired all of the members of The Five Crowns to become The Drifters. Charlie Thomas (along with Benjamin Earl Nelson - better known as Ben E. King) was a member of The Five Crowns, and while the original "classic" Drifters produced some hits, some of the biggest came from the era when Thomas was in the group. This was also the time when Lieber and Stoller were writing for the group. On January 31st, 2023, Charlie Thomas passed away at the age of 85. David Fleming interviewed Thomas in late 2015 when he was about to perform in the region, and has re-edited the conversation for this edition of KVC-Arts.

David Fleming is from Murray, Kentucky. Between college, David worked for the Public Affairs Division of the USS Ranger’s radio and television station. He has served with NPR member stations for over 30 years and also works as a visual artist specializing in temporary Sharpie tattoos. Hear David Fleming weekdays on All Things Considered.