The Drifters are a long-lived American doo-wop and R&B/soul vocal group with a peak in popularity from 1953 to 1963, though several splinter Drifters continue to perform today. They were originally formed to serve as backing group for Clyde McPhatter (of Billy Ward & the Dominoes) in 1953. Rolling Stone magazine states that the Drifters were the least stable of the vocal groups due to being low-paid hired musicians under the direct control of their management, headed by George Treadwell, who owned the Drifters name. The Treadwell Drifters website states that there have been 60 vocalists in the history of the Treadwell Drifters line, including several splinter groups by former Drifters members (not under Treadwell's management) These splinter groups are usually identified with a possessive credit such as 'Bill Pinckney's Original Drifters', 'Charlie Thomas' Drifters', etc. Only one splinter Drifters group features a classic Drifters member, Charlie Thomas' Drifters.