The Drifters to kick off Whatley Center season on October 6th

the drifters promo shot in tuxes

Up on the Roof.  Under the Boardwalk.  This Magic Moment. There Goes My Baby.  Dance with Me.  Spanish Harlem.  Stand by Me.  The list of hits goes on and on.

The Drifters, one of Rock & Roll’s founding vocal groups, is once again touring the U.S. under the auspices of their original management team. They will perform at the Whatley Center for the Performing Arts at Northeast Texas Community College on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is sponsored by Texas Heritage National Bank. 

“We are excited to host The Drifters as we kick off our 2022-2023 season at the Whatley. They have so many timeless classics and it is sure to be an energetic show that will have the audience singing along,” Carolyn Franks, Director of the Whatley Center, said. 

From their inception in the early 1950's and up until recently, The Drifters has a symbiotic relationship with Rock & Roll legend George Treadwell, who has discovered and managed such famous artists as Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn and Nina Simone.  The Treadwell Family was there when the original DRIFTERS formed and was responsible for guiding their career through 20 years of uninterrupted hits that has made them the second most successful recording artist of all time, according to Billboard Magazine.

Through an historical journey, which included no less than 5 legendary lead singers, including Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Clyde McPhatter and Ben E. King, the group's ongoing story has covered the entire spectrum of Rock & Roll. They were the first musical group to include string instruments into Rhythm & Blues music with their hauntingly beautiful song, "There Goes My Baby". They were the first musical group to sell 2 million records with their pop classic, "Up On The Roof". Along with fellow inductees the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Supremes, the Drifters were in the first class of Rock & Roll legends to be initiated into the Hall of Fame and the first African American group to be inducted. Their classic tune "Under The Boardwalk" is the most played R & B record of all time. 20 other million sellers followed.

Their songs have been penned by such historic songwriters as Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Carole King, Jerry Goffen and Phil Spector.  They have played at the White House on 3 different occasions, gave a benefit concert in Berlin the day the wall fell, performed for the Pope, the Queen of England, Nelson Mandela and toured the world for the USO in 3 different war zones from Korea to Iraq.  And behind it all was George Treadwell and his family, guiding the career of this historic group.

Once again the Treadwell family has put The Drifters back on tour in the United States – a monumental reunion celebrating their 50-year catalogue of memorable hits.  

Tickets for the Whatley Center performance are $30 for adults and $10 for students. This show is included with season ticket packages. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 903-434-8181. You can also visit the website for information about other upcoming events.