The Life and Times of Corey Drumz – What Made Me: The Banks Family Story/ Chapter 1

Corey Banks is not your average man. The story of the Banks family is very intriguing. One glimpse into their history and you will see why.


Going under the current stage name, Corey Drumz, this CEO/Musician is no stranger to the music industry. He comes from very talented musically inclined parents, Larry Banks, singer/songwriter and Joan C. Banks, otherwise known in the music world as Jaibi. His father Larry Banks (baritone/bass), was an original member of the group the Four Fellows.


This R&B quartet also featured David Jones (first tenor), Jim McGowan (second tenor), and Teddy Williams (bass) and was founded in 1954. Larry wrote most of the group’s material. They began performing in clubs through-out New York and on local TV shows, and first recording for the independent label, Derby. They then moved to the Glory label set up by Phil Rose, formerly of Coral Records. In 1955, their second release on Glory, “Soldier Boy”, reached # 4 on the national Billboard R&B charts. The Four Fellows performed in shows organized by Alan Frees and “Dr. Jive” (Tommy Smalls), and on the black theater circuit with acts including The MoonGlows and Bo Diddley . However, the group’s later records were less successful. One of their final releases with the original line-up was as backing singers for Banks’ first wife Bessie, who at the time performed and recorded as Toni Banks, on her 1957 single, “You’re Still in My Heart”.


The song “Soldier Boy”, (which was originally recorded by The Four Fellows), was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1960, appearing on 12 of Elvis’ albums. Everyone knows Elvis, or atleast has heard of him and a lot of people know his music, only a few people know Elvis had writers, he didn’t write his own songs at all. Nothing out of the ordinary except that the writer’s listed on the song is inaccurate.


The actual writer to the song is Larry Banks, according to his youngest son Corey Banks. Corey recounts the story as told to him by his father. Larry Banks and David Jones served together in the Korean War. While serving, the song “Soldier Boy” was born. Larry wrote the song and gave David a spot as co-writer because they were friends and war buddies. When they returned to the United States after the war ended, Larry filled out the copyright form and asked David to mail it. Now, how exactly Larry’s name was removed we can only speculate that David removed it. If you look at the writers on the song you will see David Jones and Theodore (Teddy) Williams are named. Larry is not on it,he got no credit for the song that he wrote.


All of the music done by the Four Fellows was created at DBA ELBEE MUSIC CO 14 Oakland Place BROOKLYN, NY, which was Larry’s publishing company and his parent’s house and later became his own home. Everything done by the group was either written and arranged by Larry or involved him in an intricate way; he was the leader of the group.


Let’s look at some facts here, Larry Banks as a songwriter/composer had 72 published songs whereas David Jones as a songwriter/composer had 11 published songs and Theodore Williams as a songwriter/composer had 10 published songs. Larry is well known throughout the music industry as the writer/composer of the hit song “Go Now” which has been recorded by various big name artists; it has been released and re-recorded from as far back as 1968 until as recently as last year. We will get into this song more at a later time.


My thoughts: Looking at this I see a man who has written many songs, had them published, and had bad sense in thinking that his friend would do the right thing. Larry Banks was a very talented writer and his credibility in the music industry is untarnished, therefore I can say that I, myself believe this story to be accurate. I can only pray that one day I will see the name Larry Banks as writer on the song “Soldier Boy.” It is after all the right thing to do for a man who poured his heart and soul into such exceptional music into the lives of millions.


This is just the beginning of much more to come from The Banks family, so stayed tuned as we bring you more of this intriguing saga.



Written and researched by Jenni De La Torre

(Note: all facts can be found by clicking on highlighted and underlined words.)


Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare. -Voltaire

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