There Goes My Baby (The Drifters song)

"There Goes My Baby" is a song written by Ben E. King (Benjamin Earl Nelson), Lover Patterson, George Treadwell and produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for The Drifters.[1][2] This was the first single by the second incarnation of the Drifters (previously known as the 5 Crowns), who assumed the group name in 1958 after manager George Treadwell fired the remaining members of the original lineup. The Atlantic Records release was King's debut recording as the lead singer of the group.

"There Goes My Baby"
There Goes My Baby by The Drifters US 7-inch 45 RPM Side-A.png
One of side-A labels of the US 7-inch (45 RPM) single
Single by The Drifters
from the album The Drifters' Greatest Hits
B-side"Oh My Love"
ReleasedApril 24, 1959
Format7" single
RecordedMarch 6, 1959
GenreSoul, rhythm and blues, doo-wop
Songwriter(s)Benjamin Nelson, Lover Patterson, George Treadwell[1]
Producer(s)Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
The Drifters singles chronology
"Drip Drop"
"There Goes My Baby"
"(If You Cry) True Love, True Love"


Leiber and Stoller used a radically different approach to production than Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler had employed with the original Clyde McPhatter-led Drifters. The combination of new style and new group fit, and the song reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind A Big Hunk o' Love by Elvis Presley.[3] "There Goes My Baby also hit number one on the Billboard R&B chart.[4] On the Cash Box sales chart, it likewise went to number one for two weeks, in the summer of 1959.


The lyrics are loosely structured, almost free-form at a time when rhyming lines were mandatory. The accompaniment features a violin section playing saxophone-like riffs in rock and roll style. The lead voice is in high gospel-style.[5]

(There goes my baby) Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh
(There goes my baby) Yeah, yeah, yeah,yeah
(There goes my baby) Whoa-oh-oh-oh
(There she goes) Yeah! (There she goes)[2]


This recording introduced the idea of using strings, a Brazilian baion and elaborate production values[2] on an R&B recording to enhance the emotional power of black music. The string arrangement is by Stan Applebaum.[6] This pointed the way to the coming era of soul music as the popularity of the doo-wop vocal groups peaked and faded. Phil Spector studied this production model under Leiber and Stoller.[7]

In 2010, the song was ranked #196 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[8] The song has been covered by many artists, including Jay and the Americans. The song was included in the musical revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe".

Donna Summer versionEdit

"There Goes My Baby"
Single by Donna Summer
from the album Cats Without Claws
B-side"Maybe It's Over"
ReleasedJuly 1984[9]
Format7" single, 12" single
GenreRock,[10] post-disco[10], synth-pop
LabelGeffen (U.S.)
Warner Bros. Records (Europe)
Songwriter(s)Benjamin Nelson, Lover Patterson, George Treadwell, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Producer(s)Michael Omartian
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Love Has a Mind of Its Own"
"There Goes My Baby"
"Supernatural Love"

Donna Summer's version of "There Goes My Baby" was the first single from her 1984 album Cats Without Claws. The single became a moderate hit, peaking at #21 on the US Hot 100, and in the top twenty of the US R&B chart. It also peaked #15 in Spain Radio chart.[11] Summer's version of this song features an electro-pop sound and was accompanied by a high-quality music video featuring Summer and husband Bruce Sudano as a down-on-their-luck couple at the outbreak of World War II. The video was played in heavy rotation on the MTV network, showing MTV's continued support of Summer as an artist. With this single, Summer earned her nineteenth - and second to last - US Top 40 hit.


  1. ^ a b "The Drifters, 'There Goes My Baby' | 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  2. ^ a b c Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 14 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Rock 'n' roll in the late fifties. [Part 4] : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Retrieved 2011-05-02.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 173.
  5. ^ Gillett, Charlie (1996). The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll ((2nd Ed.) ed.). New York, N.Y.: Da Capo Press. pp. 192–194. ISBN 0-306-80683-5.
  6. ^ "There Goes My Baby", The Art of Rock Music
  7. ^ Holly George-Warren &, Anthony Decurtis (Eds.) (1976). The RollingStone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll (3rd ed.). New York: Random House. pp. 148–149. ISBN 0-679-73728-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. April 2010. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  9. ^ "45cat - Donna Summer - There Goes My Baby / Maybe It's Over - Geffen - USA - 7-29291". 45cat. Retrieved 2015-09-01.
  10. ^ a b "Fall Preview". People. 22 (9). 27 August 1984. ISSN 0093-7673. such post-disco rock tracks as Supernatural Love and There Goes My Baby
  11. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.

External linksEdit