WITH reference to the Drifters' query that caused Cliff Richard's backing group to become what I thought was a better name, The Shadows (Letters, March 12, 'Memories of Cliff Richard').

At that time the American Drifters were unknown in Britain; they were formed in 1953 as a backing group for singer Clyde McPhatter, and after a few minor hits McPhatter was drafted into the US Army.

Because of their rising popularity the remaining group members demanded a higher share of royalties from record sales and concert appearances. Their manager George Treadwell responded by sacking them and replacing them with a new line-up featuring singer Ben E King.

This led to a court action brought by the Treadwell family who won control of the name The Drifters. Consequently the line-up changed considerably as singers left and new ones came in.

The Drifters made the UK charts the following year with Dance With Me followed by Save The Last Dance For Me. Cliff Richard had two successive chart-toppers in 1959: Living Doll and Travellin' Light, which no doubt he performed that night including his new release Dynamite which entered the charts that very same week in October.

Edmund Hockridge was a well-known Canadian baritone singer. He found success in Britain as the character Billy Bigelow in the show Carousel and became very much the "leading man" in many stage musicals throughout the 1950s and 60s. He had three chart hits in the UK in the 50s: Young and Foolish, No Other Love and By The Fountains Of Rome.

He relocated to Britain at the end of the decade and settled in Peterborough with his second wife Jackie, coincidentally living next-door to comedian Ernie Wise. He did appear as a guest on the Morecambe and Wise TV programme in 1968. He died in March 2009 aged 89, still living in Peterborough.

If you still have that programme, Robina, hang on to it. I imagine it would have you cost around sixpence, no more than a shilling, in old money. Pop memorabilia is big business these days and it would be worth several pounds today.

Michael Brooks