Photo credits: Atlantic Records
The Drifters covered the Gerry Goffin and Carole King song “Up on the Roof” in 1962.
The record, which was released around the end of the year, went on to be a big hit in 1963, peaking at number 5 on the pop singles list in the United States and number 4 on the R&B singles chart. For vocalist Kenny Lynch, whose version was also issued in 1962, it was a top ten hit inside the U.K.
“Up on the Roof” was called “in every sense a stunning pop tune for 1962” in the 1980 Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll. The Drifters’ rendition of “Under the Boardwalk,” which plays before the chorus, has a catchy opening riff. According to the Music History Calendar, The Drifters began recording this hit on June 28, 1962.
The Drifters’ “Up on the Roof” was ranked 114th on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in April 2010. It is one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, according to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Sidekicks, a garage band from New Jersey, covered “Up on the Roof” to go along with their 1966 regional success, a song titled “Suspicions.”