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The Drifters’ Charlie Thomas dies at age 85

Bobby Bank/WireImage

Charlie Thomas, a member of the legendary group The Drifters, passed away January 31 at the age of 85. His friend Peter Lemongello Jr. tells The New York Times Thomas passed away from liver cancer at his home in Maryland.

“He was aging, but he was active almost every weekend,” Lemongello said. “Unfortunately, he went from being active to being at home and he started going downhill.” 

Thomas’ tenor voice can be heard on such Drifters tunes as “Under the Boardwalk,” “Up On The Roof,” “There Goes My Baby,” “Sweets for My Sweet” and “When My Little Girl Is Smiling,” as well their only number one hit, “Save The Last Dance for Me.” 

Thomas was a Drifter for more than 60 years and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. He also received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1999.

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