Formed in Los Angeles, The Platters, a rock n roll, soul and R&B group, rose to fame during the 1950’s. It was originally composed of five members, namely: Herb Reed, Joe Jefferson, Cornell Gunther and Alex Hodge. Despite The Platters’ first taste of fame through a television performance, two original members, Gunther and Jefferson, left the group, and were replaced by Tony Williams and David Lynch, respectively.
In 1953, The Platters signed their first record deal with the help of Ralph Bass who was impressed with their performance in an amateur show. A lthough a successful touring group, The Platters’ music career did not take off until 1955. In the said year, the group met songwriter Buck Ram who made some changes to the group’s lineup by adding female vocalist, Zola Taylor. Under Ram’s guidance, the group recorded several singles, including the groundbreaking hit Only You, which did not become an instant hit but would eventually become an immortal love song. By the time The Platters had produced one hit after another, the group was already composed of Reed, Williams, Lynch, Paul Robi and Zola Taylor.
1966 found the Platters with the Musicor label, where they scored their biggest hit of the 60s: the uptempo ‘With This Ring’. During their time with Musicor The Platters recorded new versions of their greatest hits successfully released on the album The New Golden Hits Of The Platters in 1967.
The Platters have enjoyed commercial success in that they sold more than 200 million records and had performed in many different countries where they have great following. They went on making such great music such as the classic ‘The Great Pretender’ and performing their lovely version of ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’.
More than just an international hit-maker, the group received more than 200 awards from all over the world and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in its inaugural year of 1998. The Platters also received accolades from the respected Grammy Awards, winning two places in its Hall of Fame for the songs ‘Only You’ in 1999 and ‘The Great Pretender’ in 2002.
The Platters lead by Herb Reed, the only remaining original member, still continue in 2010 to thrill audiences around the world with their concerts.
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