Laguna Playhouse Presents THE DRIFTERS & THE COASTERS In Concert

Laguna Playhouse Presents THE DRIFTERS & THE COASTERS In ConcertLaguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard are thrilled to announce THE DRIFTERS & THE COASTERS, live in concert for four performances only!

Head back to the 1950s and the sweet vocal harmonies of the Doo-Wop era! With memorable songs like "Under the Boardwalk," "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," and "On Broadway", THE DRIFTERS offer a blend of tasteful music and class, all wrapped up in their famous patented choreography. The Cornell Gunter COASTERS were known as the supreme comedians of rock and roll. The monumental songs "Yakkety Yak (Don't Talk Back)" "Charlie Brown" and "Poison Ivy", helped THE COASTERS to become the first vocal group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987! THE DRIFTERS & THE COASTERS will perform Friday, November 3 through Sunday, November 5 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

There's a very good reason that Rolling Stone magazine, in their iconic issue "500 Greatest Rock and Roll Performers" said of the Drifters "No group has done it this well for this long--no one, not even the Rolling Stones." That's quite an accolade to live up to but hopefully, on their latest tour, the Drifters will once again prove Rolling Stone to be the sage of rock and roll.

Through their historic journey which began in the 1957, the Drifters have had no less than 5 legendary lead singers including Rock and Roll hall of Famers Clyde McPhatter and Ben E. King. Such stalwart and famed individual lead singers as Charley Thomas, Bill Pinkney and Johnny Moore have passed through the group over the years, each recording their share of Drifters hits. And today, as has been the case for nearly 25 years, their star lead singer is Jerome Jackson who also performed as the lead singer for the Main Ingredient in the 1970s.

There are many "firsts" for the Drifters; they were the first group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with fellow inductees The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Supremes. Just reflect for a moment if you will, on that class of Rock and Roll stars that the Drifters were an integral part of. They were the first musical rock and roll group to include string instruments into rhythm and blues music with their hauntingly beautiful song, "There Goes My Baby".

They were the first musical group to sell two million records with their pop classic "Up on the Roof''. Their classic tune ''Under the Boardwalk" is the most played R&B disc of all time. They have sold over 200 million records across the world; a feat that has only been outdone by Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones and Adele.

And on their latest tour, as they move beyond their 50 year mark, with a lineup of veterans and new voices, they once again perpetuate the Drifters story. In their last tour, they sold out over 75 performing arts centers crisscrossing the country. And now they are gearing up for a monumental celebration of their hit song catalogue as they prepare their latest CD "The Drifters Salute the Great American Songbook Live," including such songs as "On Broadway," "There Goes My Baby," "Dance "This Magic Moment," "Under The Boardwalk," "Some Kind of Wonderful," "Up On The Roof ," "Stand By Me," "Spanish Harlem" "Save The Last Dance for Me," and many more!

THE CORNELL GUNTER COASTERS - Clown Princes of Rock & Roll!
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of Cornell Gunter's Coasters out of the ashes of the surprising breakup of the original Coaster group several months earlier.

Few people recall anymore the historical significance of Cornell Gunter's decision at the time to "fly in the face of the wind." After all, he thought he could form a New Group that would overcome the temporary lack of public interest in The Coasters' music, and 1950's music in general. And he thought he could do so by relying, in part at least, on Coasters' music. Cornell believed that there was a new and unique way to present 1950's music and clearly a new approach was needed because the 70's and 80's brought about a stunning and sudden change in American musical tastes. Heavy Metal, Soft Rock and Hip Hop were right around the comer and almost overnight The Coasters, along with all of the other purveyors of the oldies group sound (The Drifters, The Shirelles, The Platters, to name a few), went from living as stars in the spotlight to being unable to get a new record played on the radio. I

t's hard to believe it now but like aging football players or old time movie stars, there was a time that the 1950's group members all seemed headed for their new lives out of the limelight. Enter Cornell Gunter.

Cornell believed that The Coasters could be reborn. In fact he believed that all of the groups from that era could be reborn, and thrive as live performing groups and ultimately he led the way to what was soon to become known as "classic rock". All that was needed was to take the original music and present it in a way that gave each group a modern theatrical approach to their presentation. More important, he developed an approach to 1950's music that lent itself to constant innovation.

It is under the tutelage and guidance of this multi-decade relationship that the group continues to entertain today. And today Cornell Gunter's genius still lives on in the way Cornell Gunter's Coasters present themselves on stage. Hear these great singles on the new Ronco recordings inlcluding, "Charlie Brown," "Along Came Jones," "Poison Ivy," "Little Egypt," "Young Blood," "YaketyYak," "Love Potion #9," "Searchin'," & "Smokey Joe's Café."


THE DRIFTERS & THE COASTERS will perform Four Performances Only- Friday, November 3 at 7:30pm; Saturday, November 4 at 2:00pm & 7:30pm and Sunday, November 5 at 1:00pm at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. Ticket prices range from $45 - $65 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Ticket prices are subject to change. Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. The box office is open Mondays - Saturdays: 11a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11a.m. - 4p.m.

For more information on all shows and programming visit

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