The Platters

Hello:  Todays featured artists were one of the top vocal groups of the Fifties and were the most popular black group of their time.  They are of course The Platters.  They were formed in Los Angeles, California, original members were Tony Williams, David Lynch, Paul Robi, Herb Reed and Zola Taylor.  The group got its start in 1952 and made their first recordings a year later in 53 on the Federal Records label.  Their first hit was written by their manager, Buck Ram.

In 1955 they signed a contract to record with Mercury Records.  Their first hit was a re-recording of a song they had recorded for Federal Records in 1954, ONLY YOU (And You Alone) climbed up the charts and reached #5 in the country.  The Platters were on their way.  Their next hit record came only 2 months later in December of 55 went right to the top.  THE GREAT PRETENDER stayed at #1 for two weeks and on the Top 100 for 24 weeks.  Just to prove that 1955 was no accident The Platters charted 9 songs in 1956.  (You’ve Got)THE MAGIC TOUCH became a #4 record and their next tune, MY PRAYER became their second #1 record.  My Prayer stayed at #1 for 5 weeks. So lets re-cap 1956,  9 hits, 2 Top 10’s, 4 Top 20’s and a #1.  In comes 1957 and again the group is all over the music charts with 5 more hits.  I’M SORRY would be the highest charting hit of 57, just missing the Top 10 at #11.

1958 would see The Platters place 6 more records in the Top 100 and 2 of them would become Platters classics.  TWLIGHT TIME would be the first to reach #1 in 58 for the group.  That song became a mainstay on AM radio and is still very much in demand today on oldies stations and dances, a true classic.  In November of 58 their next #1  is released.  SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES spends 3 weeks at #1 and becomes one of the groups biggest hits.  Their last Top 10 hit would come in 1960 with a stylished version of HARBOR LIGHTS.  It would reach #8 on the Top 100.

In 1960 lead vocalist Tony Williams left for a solo career.   The Platters went through several personnel changes.  In 1966 they charted their first record for their new label, Musicor Records.  I LOVE YOU 1000 TIMES became their biggest hit since 1961 when it charted at #31.  Their last Top 20 hit would come in 1967 with, WITH THIS RING charting at #14.

What a great group, 40 Top 100 hits. So it was no suprise when the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame came knocking in 1990.  They are the most requested “group” i’m asked to play at the oldies dances.  The Platters are fondly remembered in a golden era when pop, rhythm & blues and rock and roll flowed together in perfect harmony.

Till the next time—Joe


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