Under The Boardwalk - The Drifters (1964)
Our LCM Friday Classic comes from one of my favourite 60's groups, The Drifters. 'Under The Boardwalk' is a timeless wonder and the title track of their 1964 album. This colour video with it's dapper dressing and smooth dance moves comes from the same year. https://youtu.be/VeXBGN0RmwM
"Under the Boardwalk" is a hit pop song written by Kenny Young and Arthur Resnick and recorded by The Drifters in 1964. It charted at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 charts on August 22, 1964. The song has since been covered by many other artists, with versions by the Tom Tom Club, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joe Royal, Bruce Willis, and Lynn Anderson all charting in the United States or overseas. The song ranked #489 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The lyric describes a tryst between a man and his beloved in a seaside town, who plan to privately meet "out of the sun" and out of sight from everyone else under a boardwalk. The instrumentation includes güiro, triangle and violins. The song's chorus is unusual in that it switches from a major to minor key. The opening line of the song references the Drifters' prior hit "Up on the Roof", showing the occasional thermal weakness of the rooftop getaway and setting the stage for an alternate meeting location, under the boardwalk.
The song was set to be recorded on May 21, 1964, but the band's lead singer, Rudy Lewis, died of a suspected heroin overdose the night before. Lewis had sung lead on most of their hits since the 1960 departure of Ben E. King, including "Up on the Roof". Rather than reschedule the studio session to find a new frontman, former Drifters lead vocalist Johnny Moore was brought back to perform lead vocals for the recording. The personnel on that recording included Ernie Hayes on piano, Everett Barksdale, Bill Suyker and Bob Bushnell on guitar, Milt Hinton on bass, Gary Chester on drums and George Devens on percussion. The last-minute move was a success, as the single, released on Atlantic Records, went to number four on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and number one for three non consecutive weeks on Cashbox Magazine's R&B chart.
There are two versions of the song. The mono 45 USA released version contains the line "We'll be falling in love". Beneath the line "We'll be falling in love" on the stereo album version, the line "We'll be making love" can be heard. These are two entirely different recordings, not edits of one another, as the line "on a blanket with my baby is where I'll be" is sung differently in each version. The version appearing on the Drifters' Golden Hits compilation is a composite of the two, using "making love" in the first two choruses and "falling in love" in the third. Because of the line "making love" several radio stations banned the song, or altered it with the line "we'll be falling in love" instead.