The Platters

Biography

In 1953, bass singer Herb Reed put together a group of four men and called them "The Platters." Herb got the idea from a disc jockey referring to records as platters. The four men in the very beginning were Herb Reed, Joe Jefferson, Cornell Gunther, and Alex Hodge. They were just having fun, and entered amateur shows and always won first prize with Herb singing the lead. The first TV appearance was on a show called Ebony Showcase with Cornell Gunther singing lead on a swing version of "Old McDonald Had A Farm." Months later, David Lynch replaced Joe Jefferson and Tony Williams replaced Cornell Gunther. While at an amateur show, Ralph Bass from Federal Records saw them perform with Herb singing lead. Bass signed the group to their first recording contract. Late in 1953, Alex Hodge came to the group and said there was a songwriter from Chicago who wanted to meet them. The songwriter happened to be Buck Ram. The group signed a management contract with Buck Ram.

Early in 1954, Ram thought it would be a good idea to add a female to the group, and as luck would have it Zola Taylor was rehearsing at Alex Hodge's house, with Cornell Gunther's sister, Shirley (a group called "The Queens".) Shortly after meeting the group, Zola joined "The Platters." In August of 1954, Paul Robi replaced Alex Hodge.

In 1955, "The Platters" signed a recording contract with Mercury Records. "The Platters" ended up putting Mercury on the International map. "The Platters" recorded just under 400 songs, sold well over 89 Million records, performed in over 91 countries, and received over two hundred and thirty awards from all over the world. "The Platters" have appeared in twenty-seven movies, some you may remember: "Rock Around The Clock," "The Girl Can't Help It" (Jane Mansfield,) "Europe By Night," "Girls Town" (Paul Anka,) "Carnival Rock," and twenty-two more in Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, and Israel. "The Platters" were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

There is only one original member, Herb Reed, left to carry on the good will of the name "The Platters!" On September 29, 1997, the Federal District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, ruled that Herb Reed owns and has the exclusive right to use the mark "The Platters." On April 2, 1999 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Nevada judgement . Herb Reed is the only original member still performing.

Their smash hits include:

  • The Great Pretender
  • (You've Got) The Magic Touch
  • My Prayer
  • Heaven On Earth
  • You'll Never Know
  • It Isn't Right
  • On My Word Of Honor
  • One In A Million
  • I'm Sorry
  • He's Mine
  • My Dream
  • Twilight Time
  • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
  • Enchanted
  • Harbor Lights
  • Red Sails In The Sunset
  • To Each His Own
  • If I Didn't Care
  • I'll Never Smile Again
  • I Love You 1000 Times
  • With This Ring

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