Bill Pinkney performed gospel music for over 58 years. At an early age, Pinkney was exposed to the gospel music of his hometown church in Dalzell, SC. Little did those church members know that Pinkney would one day be a founding member of the highly successful group The Drifters.

Never parting from his gospel roots, Pinkney and the other members of the group forged a career that combined elements of beach, rock & roll, and gospel music. In 1988, Pinkney and his fellow Drifters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pinkney continued to perform in and around his hometown and train numerous singers, doing his part to ensure that gospel music continues to be a vital part of the community. Pinkney received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 2001.