The Drifters

There Goes My Baby

Song Review by

"There Goes My Baby" was a landmark record in rock and soul music, as one of the first big hits -- some have cited it as the first big hit -- to effectively use orchestration and strings, yet remain identifiably a pop-rock song. It was also the first success by the reconstituted lineup of the Drifters, who by the time the single came out in 1959 shared not a single member with previous incarnations that had scored numerous 1950s R&B hits. The opening section of "There Goes My Baby" is in essence doo wop, yet doo wop taken to a different dimension, with the main harmonizers bouncing off and rolling around a slightly goofy bass singer. What made it sound somehow different than most doo wop songs, though, was the thundering low tympani drum underscoring the voices, as well as the sudden dramatic swell of violins leading the song into the verse. Ben E. King, credited (with two managers) as co-writer of the song under the name Ben E. Nelson, then comes in with a heart-on-the-sleeve stirring vocal, not as smooth as most of his later sides admittedly, but soulful nonetheless. The catchiest parts of the verses were undeniably the points at which the Drifters sang-chanted the title, interwoven with pleading interjectives by King. In fact, structurally the song rambled a little, King relentlessly howling for his baby. But the strings, harmonies, and novel South American beat were luscious enough to make you overlook its relative lack of coherence. Oddly enough for such a revered record, Atlantic executive Jerry Wexler was unhappy with the song when he first heard it, and particularly with the out-of-tune tympani, though very few listeners noticed the instrument was out of tune, let alone complained about it.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1973
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image 1975 Atlantic
Oldies But Goodies: Legendary Hits 1979
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:08
Save the Last Dance for Me [Collection] 1982 Avid 2:15
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 4 (1958-1962) 1985
Various Artists
Atlantic 2:10
Back to the '50s 1986
Various Artists
Dominion 2:09
Greatest Hits [Hollywood] 1987 Hollywood / IMG 2:30
American Rock 'N' Roll Classics, Vol. 5 1988
Various Artists
Roulette Records
21 Rock & Roll Favorites, Vol. 2 1990
Various Artists
Laurie 2:11
The Drifters Greatest Hits 1991 Dominion 2:14
The Very Best of the Drifters [Rhino] 1993 Rhino 2:15
The Fabulous 50's, Vol. 3 1993
Various Artists
Dominion
Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 13 1993
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:09
20 Greatest Hits 1993 Spectrum Music 2:11
Remember 1994 Eclipse Records 2:13
Great Rock & Roll Love Songs 1994
Various Artists
Dominion / K-Tel Distribution 2:09
American Jukebox Classics, Vol. 1: Love Hurts 1995
Various Artists
Sterling Gold 2:17
Art Laboe Killer Oldies 2 1995
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:09
Doo Wop Memories, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
Rhino
Best of Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 12-13 1995
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:08
Rock N Roll is Here 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:08
No Image 1996
Various Artists
The Hit Box 1 1996
Various Artists
United Multi Consign 2:09
Only Rock 'N Roll 1960-1964: #1 Radio Hits 1996
Various Artists
Rhino / Essex 2:11
Rockin' & Driftin': The Drifters Box 1996 Rhino 0:00
Great Hits 1997 Public Music
50's Rock & Roll, Vol. 2 [K-Tel] 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:09
No Image 1997 Kingfisher Records
Radio Gold [Compose] 1997
Various Artists
Compose Records / Peter Pan (ISP) 2:09
Fabulous 50's [1997 Madacy Box] 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:09
There Goes My Baby & Other Hits [RHFL] 1997 Flashback Records 2:14
50's Love Songs 1997
Various Artists
Coyote Records 2:11
Hits to Remember, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Galaxy Music 2:11
Mellow Sounds of the 50's 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:11
Golden Classics 1997 Essex 2:11
Classic 50's Hits, Vol. 1 [Intercontinental] 1997
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 2:10
Ultimate 50's R&B Smashes 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 2:13
Birth of Soul, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
Kent 2:13
Chart Toppers: Romantic Hits of the 50s 1998 Priority Records 2:12
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
Street Corner Serenade: The Greatest Doo Wop of the '50s and '60s 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:13
Forever Gold 1999 St. Clair 2:18
The 60's [Intercontinental] 1999
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 2:20
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Madacy 2:12
The Drifters: Magic Collection 2000 The Magic Collection 2:15
The Legendary Group at Their Best 2000 Collectables 2:12
Forever 50's 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 2:13
Rock Culture 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:22
Rock Revival: At the Hop 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:19
Golden Legends [Direct Source] 2000 Direct Source 2:17
High Profile 2000 Direct Source 2:19
Forever Gold: The Platters Meet the Drifters 2000 Boxsets 2:14
Doo Wop Collection [Madacy 2000] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 2:06
Doo Wop Collection [Box] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 2:06
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow 2001
Various Artists
Legacy 2:18
The 50's Decade: Love Songs 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:13
More Cold Feet 2001
Original Soundtrack
Bmg Tv 2:10
Teenagers in Love [Golden Stars] 2001
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:14
The Drifters [Direct Source] 2001 Direct Source 2:10
The Drifters, Vol. 1 2001 Platinum Disc 2:11
The Drifters Greatest Hits [Laserlight] 2001 Laserlight 1:59
The 50's Golden Era 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:13
Rock N' Roll Hits: Golden 1959 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:08
Casey Kasem Presents: America's Top Ten - The 50's Doo-Wop Years 2002
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 2:12
Street Corner Souvenirs: Doo Wop Classics 2002
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:12
Greatest Hits [Prestige] 2002 Prestige Elite Records 2:19
Black & Proud 2002
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:14
The Essentials 2002 Rhino / Warner Music 2:13
Forever Gold: Gold Collection 2002 St. Clair 2:18
The Drifters and Ben E. King Meet the Coasters 2003 Goldies 2:14
Rock and Roll Generation, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Compendia Music Group 2:05
Fabulous 50's [2003 Madacy Box] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:13
The Definitive Drifters [2006] 2003 Warner Music 2:09
21 Winners: Rock 'n' Roll Hits of the 50's [2003] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:13
#1 R&B Hits [Madacy Box] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:14
Under the Boardwalk [Dynamic] 2003 Dynamic 2:03
All-Time Greatest Hits [Rhino Flashback] 2003 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 2:12
Fabulous 50s, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:13
20 Best of 50s Rock 'n' Roll 2004
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:14
Doo Wop Favorites [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:11
Happy Days of Rock 'n' Roll 50s [Bonus DVD] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:14
Up on the Roof & Other Favorites [Collectables] 2004 Collectables 2:12
Doo Wop, Vol. 2 [Platinum] 2004
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:15
Endless Soul [Columbia River] 2004
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:13
Fabulous 50s 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:13
The Drifters [Platinum Disc] 2004 Platinum Disc 2:11
Happy Days of Rock 'n' Roll 50s - Disc 2 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:14
Soul Classics [Northquest] 2005
Various Artists
Northquest 2:13
Forever Soul [Single Disc] 2005
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:13
The Ultimate Doo Wop 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:13
16 Greatest Hits [Passport Audio] 2005 Passport Audio 2:20
No Image
Various Artists
Jubilee 2:08
Original Oldies of the Fifties, Vol. 12
Various Artists
Just for Records
No Image
Various Artists
Roulette Records 0:00
Sixties Collection, Vol. 3
Various Artists
Going For A Song 2:17
No Image
Various Artists
Audio Fidelity
The 60's Collection
Various Artists
Going For A Song 2:17
The Drifters' Golden Hits Atlantic 2:13