The smooth-sounding song, with Johnny Moore the lead vocalist, was written by Arthur Resnick and Kenny Young. It reached No. 4 on the Billboard pop chart.
The opening lines set the mood for a sweltering day, probably on the Jersey shore:
And from under the boardwalk, you hear and smell the activity on the boardwalk:
But it's being with his girl that provides that great escape from the heat:
There were three versions of the song, according to Wikipedia, and they had to do with the line:
The second was considered too controversial, and was banned by many radio stations. In the combo, "making love" was in the first two verses and "falling in love" in the last.
The song has been covered by everyone from The Rolling Stones to Lynn Anderson to the Tom Tom Club. Rolling Stone magazine ranks it No. 489 on its top 500 songs of all time.
The Drifters, who were formed in 1953, have gone through numerous personnel changes through the years. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Among the famous members have been Clyde McPhatter, Bill Pinkney, Ben E. King, and Rudy Lewis.
I've included a version of the song by the current Drifters.
"Under the Boardwalk" lyrics