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Copycat Oldies Music Groups


Bill Pinkney's Original Drifters

Bill Pinkney's Original Drifters


  • Most oldies fans don't seem to know or care that they're not viewing the original members -- they just want to hear faithful reproductions of their favorite hits.
  • The groups in question lost the rights to their names years ago, or in many cases never owned them in the first place. Managers and label heads typically owned a group's moniker; these groups were often assembled by managers and producers to begin with, and it was understood that the members could be hired or fired at will.
  • It would be impossible for most of these groups to perform with all original members, and there is no legal definition as to how many original members are needed to make a touring act, or, indeed, which members are most important. Many groups are almost complete, for example, but tour without their original lead singer. And two original members will often form separate touring bands.


  • A completely fake group takes money directly from the pocket of an original member, especially if he or she is still touring with their own version of the group. Their income is directly reduced by these acts.
  • If fans are to be treated to a mere interpretation of another group's act or show, the band in question should be labeled a "show band." Not doing so would seem to make a legal case for fraud.
  • Many of these artists were paid very little for their original recordings, if at all: the nature of the business was that an act could make most of its money off its name, touring behind the hit record. Moreover, most of these artists are not wealthy and do not have the resources to sue the fakes, which is why the practice continues.

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