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the Drivers

Cincinnati, 1955-63

The Drivers were a 5 member R&B vocal group from Cincinnati. Their story seems to be pretty typical, from what we can sort out, they supposedly worked together as cab or bus drivers. The members included Willie Price, Charlie Harris, and Leroy Smith. Other members may have included Paul McCoy and ? Julino. They started out singing at local clubs and dances before getting noticed by someone with connections to King records.

The group recorded three 45s for Deluxe, probably all recorded at King. They then made a 45 every year or so for a different label - one for Lin records in NYC and one for RCA. 

In 1961 they made a 45 on their own Drive label, a custom King press. They came back to King in 1962, recording a song written by established R&B writer Rudy Toombs, a tribute to fellow Ohioan John Glenn called "Mr. Astronaut". This was their last 45 and probably their best known, as both sides have gained a bunch of new fans for playing at R&B dance parties across the world.

Aside from the King label 45, most of their songs were written by the group members listed above. 

We don't really know what became of them, othetr than there seems to be no connection to Cincy's Leroy and the Drivers.

Smooth, Slow, and Easy / Women - Deluxe 6094
My Lonely Prayer / Midnight Hours - Deluxe 6104
Dangerous Lips / Oh Miss Nellie - Deluxe 6117
A Man's Glory / Teeter Totter - Lin 1002
Blue Moon / I Get Weak - RCA 7023
Stutterin' Johhny / No Love For Me - Drive 101, 1961
Mr. Astronaut / Dry Bones Twist - King 5645, 1962