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Under the Boardwalk by The Drifters

"Under the Boardwalk" by The Drifters

Beach Music

This song was released in 1964, which is just a little past the doo wop era we discuss. However, it’s by The Drifters! And when it gets too hot to go “Up on the Roof,” as The Drifters sang in their 1962 Jerry Goffin-Carole King hit song, you go “Under the Boardwalk.”

In 1964, the song went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Cashbox Magazine’s R&B Chart. The song is included in Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It has been covered by many, many artists, including, just to name a few, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Lincolns, John Mellencamp, Tom Tom Club, and Bette Midler.

Written by Kenny Young and Arthur Resnick, “Under the Boardwalk” has a nostalgia about it for summer love by the seashore. A deeper sadness was that Rudy Lewis, who had been singing lead for The Drifters, died the night before they were about to record the song. Lewis joined them in 1960 after Ben E. King left. An autopsy was never performed, but the cause is speculated to have been from a drug overdose and heart attack. Lewis was 27. Johnny Moore, who had sung with The Drifters before, filled in and sang the lead.

Here are the lyrics to “Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters:

“Oh when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof
And your shoes get so hot you wish your tired feet were fire proof
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I’ll be

(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we’ll be havin’ some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we’ll be falling in love
Under the boardwalk, boardwalk!

From the park you hear the happy sound of a carousel
Mm-mm, you can almost taste the hot dogs and French fries they sell
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea
On a blanket with my baby is where I’ll be

(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we’ll be havin’ some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we’ll be making love
Under the boardwalk, boardwalk!

Ooh, under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I’ll be

(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we’ll be havin’ some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we’ll be falling in love
Under the boardwalk, boardwalk!”

For more songs by The Drifters: “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Up on the Roof,” and “White Christmas.”

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop.Hope you enjoyed “Under the Boardwalk” by The Dirfters.

13 Comments

  1. Dwight Hoffman says:

    Love oldies music

  2. paul leroy says:

    Love oldies,doowops sang in the fifties, bel tones.

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  10. bob says:

    “A deeper sadness was that Rudy Lewis, who had been singing lead for The Drifters, died the night before they were about to record the song. ” -first time I hard this. Interesting.Some other really good Drifters songs in my I-tunes library: “I Count the Tears”, “Fools Fall in Love” and When My Little Girl Is Smiling

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