Drift Away - Dobie Gray (1973)
For our LCM Classic this week we have the excellent song "Drift Away" written by Mentor Williams and originally recorded by John Henry Kurtz on his 1972 album Reunion. In 1973 the song became Dobie Gray's biggest hit, peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over a million copies.
Dobie was an American singer and songwriter, whose musical career spanned soul, country, pop and musical theater. His hit records also included "The 'In' Crowd" in 1965.
He was born near Houston, Texas. His family sharecropped. He discovered gospel music through his grandfather, who was a Baptist minister. In the early 1960s he moved to Los Angeles, intending to pursue an acting career while also singing to make money. He recorded for several local labels under the names Leonard Ainsworth, Larry Curtis, and Larry Dennis, before Sonny Bono directed him toward the small independent Stripe Records. They suggested that he record under the name "Dobie Gray", an allusion to the then-popular sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. His first taste of success came in 1963 when his seventh single "Look At Me", on the Cor-Dak label and recorded with bassist Carol Kaye, reached #91 on the Billboard Hot 100.