August 15, 1925 --- July 4, 2007
When Ambassador Bill Pinkney, D.F.A.Hon. ascended to
the Celestial Choir, he left a treasured legacy to continue.
2005 -- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum hosts
Bill Pinkney's 80th Birthday Celebration
2003 -- The Drifters' 50th Anniversary
This sole surviving original member celebrated
by releasing of a gospel CD and his autobiography
"Drifters 1 : Bill Pinkney".
October 20 - Inaugural
class inductee Original Drifter Bill Pinkney inducted
later recording Drifters Ben E. King and Charlie Thomas into
the third class of members of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and
Museum in Sharon, Pennsylvania.
August 15 -
Bill Pinkney celebrated his 75th birthday with a Jubilee Roast
Eleganza and Legends Concert in Columbia, South Carolina.
- Pinkney celebrated the 47th Anniversary of The Drifters'
founding with an All-Star Gospel Concert in Sumter, SC complete
with a "national treasure" recognition letter from South African
President Nelson Mandela.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame filmed Pinkney's oral history for
archival inclusion in its Legends Series.
-- NBC TV Today Show presented The Original Drifters featuring Bill
Pinkney, with guest Charlie Thomas, singing "Money Honey"
"Under the Boardwalk", "Up on the Roof", and "White Christmas"
-- Pinkney joined in the classic rock stars Circle of Friends Reunion
focusing on the gospel influence in their lives. Video Watch !!!
-- Rhythm & Blues Foundation honors Pinkney as a Pioneer.
1998 -- Vocal Group Hall of Fame - Inaugural Class Inductee
More about Bill Pinkney . . .
Generations recognize Bill Pinkney's basso profundo on the 1954 version of “WHITE CHRISTMAS” used in the 1990's hit movies “Home Alone”, "The Santa Claus(e)", and "Mixed Nuts". With Pinkney on bass lead complimented by the tenor of the legendary Clyde McPhatter, it is the all time best selling song by The Drifters and ranks in the top ten all time best selling Christmas songs.
A Presidential Citation recipient with five Bronze Stars (including Normandy and Bastogne) from World War II, PINKNEY also was a sandlot pitcher for the New York Blue Socks in the Negro Baseball League. He is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and United Group Harmony Association Hall of Fame, and the recipient of a Gospel Stellar Award and a Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Award.
South Carolina bestowed upon him the Order of the Palmetto, its highest civilian honor, commissioned him official "Ambassador of Entertainment", and established a memorial highway and park near his Dalzell, Sumter County, birthplace.
Pinkney holds the keys to many cities and numerous other entities have honored him. His second home Las Vegas, the "Entertainment Capital of the World", recognized his respective fortieth and forty-fifth anniversary kick- offs by proclaiming The ORIGINAL DRIFTERS Day and BILL PINKNEY Day.
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