The Platters

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vocal group
formed 1953 in Los Angeles, California

Herb Reed - born August 7, 1931 in Kansas City, Missouri
Wayne Miller
Sharla Soloman
William Newton
Billy Cox

Former members:
Milton Bullock
Sandra Dawn
Cornell Gunther (also member of The Coasters) - born November 14, 1936 in Coffeyville, Kansas / died February 26, 1990 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Linda Hayes
Alex Hodge
Joe Jefferson
Kenn Johnson
David Lynch - born July 3, 1929 in St. Louis, Missouri / died January 2, 1981 in Long Beach, California
Nate Nelson (formerly with The Flamingos) - born April 10, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois / died June 1, 1984 in Boston, Massachusetts
Monroe Powell
Paul Robi - born August 20, 1931 in New Orleans, Louisiana / died February 1, 1989 in Los Angeles, California
Zola Taylor (Zoletta Lynn Taylor) - born March 17, 1938 in Los Angeles, California / died April 30, 2007 in Riverside, California
Sonny Turner
Tony Williams - born April 15, 1928 in Roselle, New Jersey / died August 14, 1992 in Manhattan, New York

The Platters - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

In 1953, bass singer Herb Reed put together a group of four singers called The Platters, an idea he got from a disc jockey referring to records as platters. The original group was made up of Reed, Joe Jefferson, Cornell Gunther and Alex Hodge. The original group got its start on a television show called "Ebony Showcase" with Cornell Gunther singing lead on a swing version of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." Months later, David Lynch replaced Jefferson and Tony Williams replaced Gunther. While at an amateur show, Ralph Bass from Federal Records saw them perform with Reed singing lead and signed the group to its first recording contract. Late in 1953, the group signed a management contract with songwriter Buck Ram.

By the time the groundbreaking blockbuster Only You (and You Alone) hit the charts in 1955, Reed, Williams, Lynch, Paul Robi and Zola Taylor comprised The Platters. The song is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Platters have recorded more than 400 recordings, sold over 200 million records, performed in 91 countries, and have received more than 230 awards from all over the world. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Hall of Fame in 1998. Only You (and You Alone) received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999, with the 1956 tune The Great Pretender following soon after in 2002. The Platters also appeared in 27 movies including the well-known Rock Around the Clock and The Girl Can't Help It.

Although other members of the original group have left over the years, Reed has managed, performed and toured as The Platters or Herb Reed and The Platters since he founded the group and coined its name. His current group, now under the name Herb Reed's Platters, is the only one that includes a member of the original group and is made up of Reed, Wayne Miller, Sharla Soloman, William Newton and Billy Cox.

Singles (selected):
Only You (And You Alone) [1955]
(You've Got) The Magic Touch [1956]
Heaven On Earth [1956]
My Prayer [1956]
You'll Never Never Know [1956]
The Great Pretender [1956]
He's Mine [1957]
I'm Sorry [1957]
My Dream [1957]
On My Word Of Honour [1957]
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes [1958]
Twilight Time [1958]
Enchanted [1959]
Harbor Lights [1960]
I'll Never Smile Again [1961]
I Love You 1000 Times [1966]
Sweet, Sweet Lovin' [1967]
With This Ring [1967]


Essential Platters album: All-Time Greatest Hits or The Magic Touch: An Anthology

Albums (selected):
- The Platters [Mercury 20146, 1956]
- The Platters, Vol. 2 [Mercury 20216, 1956]
- Remember When [Mercury 20410, 1959]
- Encore Of Golden Hits [Mercury 20472, 1960]
- More Encore Of Golden Hits [Mercury 20591, 1960]
- Golden Hits [Mercury 14091, 1962]
- Christmas with the Platters [Polygram 60841, 1964]
- I Love You 1,000 Times [Musicor 3091, 1966]
- The Great Pretender [Prime Cuts 1344, 1995]
- Golden Hits [Polygram 447, 1986]
- The Magic Touch: An Anthology [Mercury 510314, October 1991] 2-CD set
- The Very Best of the Platters [Polygram 520386, 1997]
- Enchanted: The Best of the Platters [Rhino 75326, June 1998]
- 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of The Platters [Polygram 546414, August 1999]
- All-Time Greatest Hits [Mercury 175502, April 2004]
- Best Of The Platters [Madacy 50581, May 2004]
- Greatest Hits [Not Now 2215, February 2007] 2-CD set
- The Best Of The Platters: 18 Classic Tracks [Universal 55131, December 2007]
- The Very Best Of The Platters [Universal 7944, May 2008]

They appear on the following albums:
Joe Houston - Rockin' 'n' Boppin' [Saxophonograph 1302, 1989]
Various Artists - The Doo Wop Box [1994] 4-CD Box set [Rhino 71463, 1994]
Various Artists - Felix Hernandez Presents The Rhythm Revue [September 1997] 3-CD Box set
Various Artists - Street Corner Essentials [Hip-O 556264, October 2001] 2-CD set
Various Artists - Vocal Groups: Classic Doo Wop [JSP 7775, August 2006] 4-CD Box set
Bill Haley & Friends, Vol. 3 [Hydra 27128, September 2006] 2-CD set

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