"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.