The Drifters - There Goes my Baby - 1959


The Drifters - "There Goes My Baby" - 1959

"The Drifters" are a long-standing and influential American doo-wop and R&B/soul vocal group. In 1959, they released one of their most famous songs, "There Goes My Baby". This song is notable not only for its lyrical content and vocal performance but also for its innovative use of orchestration in an R&B context, including the use of strings and a Brazilian baion rhythm.


"There Goes My Baby" was a pioneering track in the world of R&B and doo-wop. It was co-written by Ben E. King (who later gained fame for his solo hit "Stand By Me"), Lover Patterson, and George Treadwell. The song's innovative use of orchestral instruments, such as violins, violas, and cellos, marked a departure from the traditional R&B sound of the time.

Musical Innovations

The song is also recognized for its introduction of a Brazilian baion rhythm, which added a unique, exotic flavor to the song. This was one of the earliest instances of Latin rhythms being incorporated into mainstream R&B and pop music in the United States.

Legacy and Influence

"There Goes My Baby" was a commercial success and is often cited as one of the first instances of the "orchestrated soul" style that would become more prevalent in the 1960s. It influenced many artists and helped to pave the way for the fusion of orchestral arrangements with traditional R&B music.

For more details on the song and its background, visit the Wikipedia article on "There Goes My Baby" (The Drifters song).

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "There Goes My Baby" by The Drifters released? (1959) (!1962) (!1957) (!1960)

Which of the following instruments was unusually incorporated into "There Goes My Baby"? (Strings) (!Harmonica) (!Synthesizer) (!Electric Guitar)

Who co-wrote "There Goes My Baby"? (Ben E. King) (!Otis Redding) (!Sam Cooke) (!Marvin Gaye)

What type of rhythm did "There Goes My Baby" introduce into mainstream R&B? (Brazilian baion rhythm) (!Cuban mambo rhythm) (!American swing rhythm) (!African beat rhythm)

Why is "There Goes My Baby" significant in music history? (It was one of the first instances of "orchestrated soul") (!It was the first song to use an electric guitar) (!It was the first R&B song to top the pop charts) (!It introduced rap into mainstream music)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

Which group performed "There Goes My Baby"? (The Drifters) (!The Platters) (!The Temptations) (!The Four Tops)

What genre is The Drifters primarily associated with? (Doo-wop and R&B) (!Rock) (!Jazz) (!Country)

In what era did The Drifters achieve significant popularity? (1950s and 1960s) (!1970s) (!1980s) (!1990s)

Which famous song, not "There Goes My Baby", is Ben E. King known for as a solo artist? ("Stand By Me") (!"My Girl") (!"Unchained Melody") (!"What a Wonderful World")

How did "There Goes My Baby" influence future music? (It influenced the incorporation of orchestral elements in R&B) (!It was the first to introduce electric instruments) (!It pioneered the use of synthesizers in pop music) (!It introduced hip hop elements into R&B)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What is the main theme of "There Goes My Baby"? (Lost love) (!Celebration) (!Social issues) (!Adventure)

How does the song start lyrically? ("There goes my baby") (!"Walking down the street") (!"Under the moonlight") (!"In the still of the night")

Which of these lines is a lyric from "There Goes My Baby"? ("I wanna know if she loved me") (!"Dancing under the starlight") (!"Walking hand in hand") (!"In the quiet night")

What emotion is predominantly conveyed in "There Goes My Baby"? (Longing) (!Joy) (!Anger) (!Surprise)

In "There Goes My Baby", what is the singer reflecting on? (A past relationship) (!Future aspirations) (!A celebration) (!A journey)


The Drifters Doo-wop and R&B
1959 Release of "There Goes My Baby"
Ben E. King Co-writer of "There Goes My Baby"
Strings and Brazilian rhythm Musical innovations in "There Goes My Baby"
Lost love Main theme of "There Goes My Baby"

Open Tasks


  1. Research the Drifters: Explore more songs by The Drifters and how they contributed to the development of R&B and soul music.
  2. Create a Playlist: Make a playlist of songs from the late 1950s that show the evolution of R&B music.
  3. Draw the Drifters: Create a drawing or a digital artwork representing The Drifters or the era of the song.


  1. Interview about Music: Talk to someone who lived through the 1950s and ask about their memories of music from that era.
  2. Musical Analysis: Analyze "There Goes My Baby" in terms of its musical composition and how it differs from other songs of its time.
  3. Write a Review: Write a review of "There Goes My Baby", focusing on its historical significance and musical style.


  1. Create a Documentary: Produce a short documentary about The Drifters and their impact on music history.
  2. Songwriting Challenge: Write and record a song that incorporates elements from "There Goes My Baby", such as the use of strings or the Brazilian baion rhythm.
  3. Organize an Event: Plan a music event or a listening session focusing on The Drifters and the evolution of R&B music.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Influence: Discuss how the introduction of orchestral elements in "There Goes My Baby" influenced later R&B and soul music.
  2. Compare and Contrast: Compare "There Goes My Baby" with a modern R&B song in terms of musical style and thematic content.

OERs on the Topic


The Drifters - There Goes my Baby - 1959

  1. The 1950s Music Scene

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