By getting to know Mister Beach Music, Harry Turner, I was invited to a great but later sad event – the 40th Anniversary of the world famous ORIGINAL Drifters! This is the America’s Music group that gave us such hits as Under The Boardwalk, White Christmas and This Magic Moment, which became the title of Harry’s book.
That morning we picked up Motown great Marv Johnson to go to a reception for the event hosted by South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell as it was his son, Mike, that was spearheading the event.
Later we headed to Sumter, home of Drifter Bill Pinkney for the actual concert. Here Marv met up with his friends The Tams.
That night The Tams, Eddie Rabbit and other America’s Music legends honored The Drifters. Marv also decided to do some numbers and his famous “Funky Chicken” dance for the audience.
I was sitting next to Governor Campbell on the front row while watching Marv. We both noticed something was wrong with Marv just before he collapsed on stage! Governor Campbell was our of his seat and running to the stage to see what had happened. It was determined that Marv needed an ambulance and he was rushed to the nearest hospital.
After the performance we heard to downtown Sumter where Bill Pickney’s relatives had prepared one heck of a late night feast. The event was more subdued due to Marv’s serious condition.
Mike Campbell stayed at the bedside of Marv until he passed away! What a gentleman! That would most likely not happen today.
Marv, Motown’s first recording artist, died almost penniless and with NO relative to be there in his final hours!
This is NOT right and I plan to help build a comfortable retirement home for legends of America’s Music like Marv Johnson.