The Platters – Biography, Songs, Albums, Discography & Facts

The Platters Biography

The Platters were one of the greatest doo wop groups of the rock and roll period, with songs like “The Great Pretender,” “Only You,” and their version of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” The Platters produced hit after hit in the 1950s under the direction of manager and producer Buck Ram, spanning the gap between more conventional vocal-group stylings and the well-liked R&B grooves of the early ’50s. Lead singer Tony Williams’ strong vocals and singer Zola Taylor’s feminine touch gave them a distinctive sound. Platters original founding member Herb Reed eventually secured his rights to the name, and the band continued to record and play into the 2010s despite the public being confused for many years by competing versions of the band.

The Platters got their start in 1952 as a doo wop group from Los Angeles that cut a few singles for Federal, a division of Cincinnati’s King Records. It all comes down to one very significant person: Buck Ram, who served as their manager, producer, vocal coach, mentor, and business partner. Ram transformed a typical doo wop singing quartet into one of the most successful and enduring bands of all time. By 1954, Ram had already established himself as a successful businessman in Los Angeles, managing the Three Suns, a somewhat successful pop group, and creating and arranging music for publisher Mills Music. He was also collaborating with his proteges, the Penguins. He seemed to be adding The Platters to his stable well.

Ram signed them to Mercury Records after freeing them from their Federal contract (and at the same time he brought the Penguins over after their success with “Earth Angel”), which immediately opened up pop markets thanks to the label’s distribution connections. Ram then began focusing on the group’s advantages and disadvantages. He started by giving lead tenor Tony Williams full responsibility for the lead vocals. The trio, which now included Zola Taylor from Shirley Gunter & the Queens, worked as a well-organized vocal support, framing every note Williams sang, amplifying his emoting intensity.The trio immediately achieved pop and R&B success using Ram’s pop songwriting masterpieces as their musical foundation, and finally achieved the distinction of being the first Black act of the era to reach the top of the pop charts. The Platters are regarded as the most romantic of all the doo wop groups and were the originators of “make-out music” with their string of chart-topping singles including “Only You,” “The Great Pretender,” “My Prayer,” “Twilight Time,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” and “Harbor Lights.”

Williams started out on his own in 1961. The band split up towards the end of the decade, with separate members forming their own iterations of the Platters. After conflicting versions for decades, Herb Reed, an early member, finally prevailed in a string of legal proceedings. Wayne Miller, Valerie Victoria, Frank Pizarro, Cheo Bourne, and music director Michael Larson were among the members of Reed’s revival of the group after his death in 2012. Back to Basics Live! was released in 2015 by the sole ensemble permitted to perform as the Platters on the You Dig It label. Two Grammy Hall of Fame tracks, “Only You (And You Alone)” and “The Great Pretender,” were on the album. The brand-new Platters’ rendition of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” was also included as a bonus track (lead singer Pizarro was a first responder at the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001). Tony Williams’ replacement in the Platters lineup, Sonny Turner, passed away on January 13, 2022, at the age of 82.

The Platters Discography

Timeless Classics
This Time Around
Golden Stage
The Wonder Of You
All Time Movie HitsSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Only YouSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
The Platters SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Albums Do The Platters Have?

The Platters are an American vocal group that was one of the most successful doo-wop groups of the early rock and roll era. The group had 40 singles (seven in the top 10) on the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 1955 and 1967, including four number-one hits.

Who Was The Original Lead Singer For The Platters?

The original lead singer for the Platters was Tony Williams. He was with the group from 1953 until his death in 1987. Williams was known for his smooth, baritone voice and ability to convey emotion through song. He helped the Platters achieve their unique sound, which blended R&B, pop, and gospel influences. Williams’ replacement, David Lynch, sang with the group from 1987 until his death in 2001. The current lead singer of the Platters is Herb Reed.

Who Is The Best Lead Singer Of Platters?

The best lead singer of Platters is undoubtedly Tony Williams. He had a powerful voice that was able to convey the emotion of the songs, and he had a great range. He was also a very talented musician, and he could play a variety of instruments. He was a true pioneer in the world of rock and roll, and he helped to define the sound of the genre. He was a true icon, and he will be remembered as one of the greatest lead singers of all time.

Who Are The Current Members Of The Platters?

The Platters are an American vocal group that was one of the most successful singing groups of the early rock and roll era. The current lineup of the group includes Herb Reed, David Lynch, Tony Williams, Paul Robi, and Zola Taylor.

Most Searched For Platters Songs

Smoke gets in your eyesSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Only You (And you alone)SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
My prayerSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Twilight TimeSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Heaven on EarthSpotifyAppleYouTube
The great pretenderSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Harbor LightsSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Keep me in loveSpotify
Sixteen tonsSpotifyAppleYouTube